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Thankfully, Flopping in the NBA Will Be Ending

(This is apart of Sports of Boston’s extensive coverage of the NBA Finals)

Last week, when it was announced that the NBA would begin fining players for flopping, I came quite close to clapping about the story when I first saw it. One of the reasons the NBA has become pretty unwatchable, to me, is the fake theatrics of the game. When it’s a game, it should be about performing well, not acting.

In baseball and football, it is rare that someone acting like they were wronged affects the whole game, and more rare that it occurs more than once a game. Yet, in basketball, guys have been falling all over the place for a few years now, and for a majority of the game. Just ask Vlade Divac or Robert Horry [YouTube videos].

It’s frustrating to watch and silly to think that if your team flops worse than the opposition, they can lose, despite being more talented and performing better. There are very few things about how basketball evolved that made me like it less than flopping (Isiah Thomas is one of those things, I should note).

That NBA Commissioner David Stern is only talking about fines for flopping is OK for now. However, if this does not curb the flopping, then Stern should look into minor suspensions as well. And as for how the fines should go? It should be an increasing fine scale based on the number of times caught. The first one should not be too steep, just in case it’s a false-positive. But after that, they should sharply increase.

Also, they should be a percentage of the player’s salary, as opposed to a set amount. After all, is it fair if a just-drafted rookie gets fined the same amount as Kobe Bryant, when Bryant is making much more money than that rookie? Or is it fair that Kobe or any big money superstar can afford to flop more than a lesser paid player? Not at all. That’s why a percentage system solves that matter.

I’m excited to see if the gameplay does indeed improve. If so, I hope Commissioner Stern targets a few other nagging issues with the game. First up on my list? Restoring traveling to three steps.

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4 comments for “Thankfully, Flopping in the NBA Will Be Ending”

  1. […] Green Bandwagon Meet the Los Angeles Lakers Assorted thoughts on the LA Lakers Sports of Boston Thankfully flopping in the NBA will be ending Parquet Wishes The Onion just can’t get enough of Paul Pierce HeraldNet When green was about […]

    Posted by » Blog Archive » Today’s Links 6/2 | June 2, 2008, 11:53 am
  2. Well, Adam, I’d like to see an end to flopping as well, but I can’t imagine how this could be enforced outside the confines of the game. Is the league going to review every foul called and determine, at a later date, if a flop has occurred? Wouldn’t it make much more sense to forcefully tell the referees to determine if a flop has taken place, and just ignore the damned thing and let play go on? I know that’s supposed to be the case now, and it’s not working, but as with any situation that the league wants to emphasize in a game ( from a ref’s point of view) it should be easy enough for the league to tell the officials that this situation must be addressed and let them do their job properly. Ignore the flopper, and let the game go on. If the flopper insists that it wasn’t a flop and gets too belligerent about it, just use the technical foul rule and put an end to all the bellyaching. The ref should be in charge of this situation.

    The real problem is that the refs are simply lousy at their jobs. They tend to give the “flop advantage” to established stars and often pander to the home town crowds in these situations. A ref can simply say “play on” when an obvious flop occurs, and if they did it regularly, the flopping would stop. They’re on the scene in real time, not sitting at a monitor the next day and reviewing the situation after it has already affected the outcome of a game. Just do the job right in the first place, refs, and this problem is no longer a problem. Any “after the game” conclusion and/or fine doesn’t address the immediacy of the situation and I can’t imagine the problems that would occur as NBA officials attempted to levy fines outside of the actual moment of the game. It would be far too subjective a call afterwards, especially when an official is on the scene and is supposed to be determining the situation at the time it actually happens.

    Just get the officials on the ball. Tell them to deal with the issue and to open their eyes and do their jobs properly. Post game officiating on a point like this is just unworkable.

    Posted by Ken | June 2, 2008, 4:12 pm
  3. I think the NBA (not the officials during the game) will review the “questionable” calls afterwards and set the appropriate punishment. I guess Ginobili will be bankrupt next season.

    Posted by Dave | June 2, 2008, 4:23 pm
  4. The fact is that right now the referees could call flops and not call a foul, but they don’t have the proper judgment to do so. In fact it’d be more subjective to do the call during the game, than after, as afterwards the replay can be viewed numerous times, and from many angles. During the flow of the game, it’ll take much too long to go to a replay camera to make the determination of a flop. Considering how bad the referees are right now at calling fouls, they definitely shouldn’t be calling flops. I think it’s a bit much to ask the officials to get this right considering how much they get wrong.

    And my point about the fines is that by creating a financial incentive for someone not to flop, it discourages it much more than by calling it during a game with a technical. During a blowout a player may flop to try and run up stats since the technical foul hurts less, but a fine would discourage it even then.

    Also, considering the Tim Donaghy scandal, it’s better to play it safe and let the NBA offices regulate it first and if it’s deemed to be at a level manageable by the referees, they can always change and let the referees be the judges.

    Posted by Adam | June 2, 2008, 10:03 pm

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