Tossups: What’s Worse – Flops or the NBA’s New Flopping Policy?
Last year when NBA Commissioner David Stern said the NBA planned to “do something” about flopping in the NBA, making them fineable offenses never crossed my mind as a solution he would suggest. But here I am fresh off of reading the NBA’s press release on the issue which states this:
Violation 1: Warning
Violation 2: $5,000 fine
Violation 3: $10,000 fine
Violation 4: $15,000 fine
Violation 5: $30,000 fine
If a player violates the anti-flopping rule six times or more, he will be subject to discipline that is reasonable under the circumstances, including an increased fine and/or suspension.
The league will announce at a later date a separate set of penalties for flopping that will apply during the playoffs.
There’s also a little part in the release where they make a point to assure players that they can still do the cha cha slide and take a charge which, by the way, is way more annoying to me than flops but we’re not talking about that right now.
These fines will be issued based on video review and the league’s determination of what a reasonable physical reaction is to whatever contact occurred. As a fan of the NFL, I am no stranger to fines doled out after games are completed and film is reviewed. I’m not a fan of it necessarily but because the field is so large and the game happens so fast I am resigned to using film to assess whether hits are legal or not.
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But for something like this, where I envision folks sitting around trying to determine when a player falls down too hard, I must say I’d feel more comfortable with flops being taken care of during the game rather than after. Besides, after the game I’ve already suffered through watching the flops and a winner has already been determined. That alone is a big deal given how important foul shots become at the end of close games.
I also see potential problems if the league has to fine lots of flops that the referees’ called fouls ESPECIALLY when the offending player may have received the opportunity to shoot free throws. I’m assuming this WILL occur cause if the only fineable flops are the ones that the refs don’t fall for the efficacy of this policy is severely reduced.
No matter the case, I agree with others who have said that if we must punish for flops, they should count as fouls — personal, technical whatever. This puts control of flopping back into the refs’ hands where I believe it belongs and issues consequences for bad sportsmanship during the game rather than after. However, based on the NBA’s press release, this boils down to the league’s lack of confidence in referees’ ability to make the right calls during the flow of the game. So penalizing players for flops in-game won’t solve that problem though I believe it would be more fair and appropriate.