What is “flopping”?

October 4th, 2012

Here is how the NBA has defined flopping in its proposed set of rules:

“Flopping” will be defined as any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player. The primary factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact.

Hmmm…. That is pretty vague. Unsurprisingly, the head of the Player’s Association thinks it is quite vague, and unprecedented!

“The NBA is not permitted to unilaterally impose new economic discipline against the players without first bargaining with the union,” NBPA executive director Billy Hunter said in a statement. “We believe that any monetary penalty for an act of this type is inappropriate and without precedent in our sport or any other sport.

“We will bring appropriate legal action to challenge what is clearly a vague and arbitrary overreaction and overreach by the Commissioner’s office.”

But will it work? Will it provide deterrence?

 Players will get a warning the first time, then be fined $5,000 for a second violation. The fines increase to $10,000 for a third offense, $15,000 for a fourth and $30,000 for the fifth. Six or more could lead to a suspension.

Blake Griffin, a frequent-flopper, is not convinced.

“I guess it’s good in the sense that it stops any of that from happening, but at the same time, you’re telling me if it’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals and a guy has a chance to make a play, he’s going to be like, ‘Well, do I want this $10,000 or do I want a championship?’ Do you know what I mean?” Griffin said. “It’s one of those things that’s after the fact and not going to win or lose games for anybody.”

That was my initial reaction. If a game is on the line, and a bogus foul-call can tip the outcome one way or the other, floppers gonna flop.