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Charles Barkley joins growing chorus annoyed with Blake Griffin flopping

May 8, 2012, 3:24 PM EDT

Blake Griffin, lKenyon Martin AP

After last night’s Memphis loss to the Clippers, I asked a couple Memphis players if the Clippers’ theatrics and flopping bothered them. Nobody would go near the topic. Well, Memphis coach Lionel Hollins called Chris Paul a flopper on national television, but even off the record the Memphis players would shake their heads to acknowledge it and say they didn’t want to talk about it.

But everyone else is.

The Clippers have become the poster children for flopping in the NBA. It lit up twitter Monday night. Blake Griffin gets the brunt of it because it contrasts with his physical, almost confrontational style of play. We have video of Chris Paul flopping when a referee touches him. It’s not a simplistic situation — Griffin and Paul draw a lot of contact in part because they attack the rim. They get fouled more than they get calls. But they are trying to play the gamesmanship card now of selling that contact to get calls with the kind overacting usually reserved for bad dinner theater.

And there may have been no more vocal critic of the way Griffin is handling this than Charles Barkley. He ripped Griffin on the TNT postgame show Monday and said the same thing on the Dan Patrick Show (via Sports Radio Interviews).

“(Griffin) made me so mad last night. I called him Vince Carter last night. Because Vince Carter was a great player — we used to joke he got shot like three times a game. I called him that on the show last night, I said ‘Blake Griffin has turned into a new Vince Carter.’ … He gets shot three or four times a game and just goes down. He better stop that flopping. He gotta stop that, because you can tell all these players are taking cheap shots because he’s getting to be annoying with all the flopping.”

Will he lose the respect of players for flopping?

“No they just gonna enjoy hitting you more. Because what the mentality becomes then is, ‘OK, if you’re gonna flop I’m gonna knock the hell out of you.’ That’s actually the way it goes. They won’t lose respect because he’s a terrific player.”

What the Clippers are doing is not new — even players with a tough reputation like Kobe Bryant sell calls. And that’s part of it — when your team does it, they are just trying to sell the call because the referees don’t respect them; when the other team does it, they are flopping and why doesn’t the referee call that?

What I fear is the second round when the Clippers (assuming they can close out the Grizzlies) take on the Spurs, who have the king of all floppers in Manu Ginobili. It’s going to look at times like there are snipers all over the arena picking guys off. Yea! NBA Basketball, it’s fantastic!

  1. Justin - May 8, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    If we get Spurs vs Clippers it is going to be flopfest 2012.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 8, 2012 at 3:37 PM

      lmao yeah seriously. And sadly, it will be the matchup because the Grizzlies have now choked away THREE GAMES in this series.

  2. veinsofgod - May 8, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Flop City?

    • cdog0o7 - May 8, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      Beyond Flop City. But its not Blake who’s the problem, its Paul. Paul takes full on dives off picks 1 in every 3 plays. It’s embarrassing. And then he moans when the call doesn’t go his way.

      Man do those refs have patience – but just like the Sacramento teams of yore, when your entire team flops, eventually the whistles are swallowed for crying wolf, and karma comes back to bite you.

    • obijuan13 - May 8, 2012 at 6:10 PM


  3. Mr. Wright 212 - May 8, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Barkley needs to rip Paul more though. He’s more egregious with it than Griffin.

    And not ONE WORD from him about Miami, which is Flop City East.

    • mannyfresh209 - May 8, 2012 at 4:29 PM

      No, Barkley hates the Heat. So if the Heat were in fact flopping as much as you’d like to imagine they are, he’d be the first to call them out.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - May 8, 2012 at 4:36 PM

        SINCE WHEN? He slurps off Wade and James at every turn. He hates Kobe and the Lakers. And New York for that matter (and always has, like a typical country bumpkin with that inferiority complex).

      • bils293 - May 8, 2012 at 5:57 PM

        everybody hates the knicks, mainly because they’re garbage and melo doesn’t comprehend the concept of passing

  4. loungefly74 - May 8, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    If Manu is the King of Floppers…then Vlade Divacs is the God of Floppers…

  5. ezmagic - May 8, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Griffin is a punk…..Haha I agree the heat always drag it out. Wade is always getting knocked down and drags it out into the locker room sometimes. Then comes back stronger than ever to be the hero…

    • mannyfresh209 - May 8, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      You’re thinking about Paul Pierce, bro.

      • lew24 - May 8, 2012 at 5:06 PM

        Haha…Pierce was the one in finals that was wheeled off the court like a European football player looking for a red card and then moments later he is ready to come back in!

        The Floppers are filled with annoying players…led by Griffin, Evans and Kenyon Martin!

  6. davidcl77 - May 8, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Charles….. Learn how to speak the English language with half decent grammar, then shut the hell up. Your fat ass never won anything.

  7. moseskkim - May 8, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    There are countless times griffin gets hit and there’s a no-call. Griffin isn’t that skilled yet so when he works hard to get to a certain scoring position and someone smacks or pushes him, those whistles are very important. It’s not like he’s not getting hit. He just feels he needs to sell it a bit. Kudos Blake. Cp3 doesn’t need flops. He’s an absolute superstar and crafty as all heck. Give him respect man.

    • Justin - May 8, 2012 at 4:39 PM

      Every PF and C gets reamed on and doesn’t always get calls. Just the way it is.

    • raidmagic - May 9, 2012 at 1:29 PM



  8. sellahh - May 8, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    “Charles Barkley joins growing chorus annoyed with Blake Griffin flopping”
    Here is Krzysztof Balcerek joining the bandwagon… wait, I hopped on long ago.

  9. atom665 - May 8, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Griffin is a bitch who can dish it out by throwing his off arm into others faces and mean mugs and stares down afterward but yet a moth farts on him and he goes down faster than an 18 year old runaway in a porn studio in the San Fernando Valley. Too bad Metta’s elbow hit Harden. Would have been great theatre to see BG get hit by that.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 9, 2012 at 2:31 AM


  10. fordmandalay - May 8, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    What about the growing chorus of people annoyed with Barkley flopping his gums?

  11. nickbartlett12 - May 8, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Too many fake tough guys in the NBA these days. Wish we could go back the Golden Age of the NBA in the 80s-90s where you didn’t worry about flopping, you worried about too many hard fouls.

    Check out my website and its latest post for insight on Game 4 crunch time heroes:

  12. obijuan13 - May 8, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    As per the previous Clipper post:
    obijuan13 – May 8, 2012 at 2:58 PM
    I still think there should be an ESPY called, The Vlade Divac Award for Best Actor in an NBA game. And the Vlade goes to…..

  13. captainwisdom8888 - May 8, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Despite entering halftime with 16 points, Barkley was doing a great job at pointing out all of Blake’s inabilities and faults last night. Shaq had to remind Charles a few times that points win games, not rebound totals.

    Chris Webber was doing an awful job at staying “objective” during his broadcasting of the game last night…making it very clear that he was not on the Blake Griffin bandwagon. He barely acknowledged when Griffin succeeded during the game and he continuously questioned every foul call on Blake even when the guy was taking blows to the face. After some very hard fouls on Griffin…Webber took the time to praise certain Memphis players for their “tough defense” against Blake.

    Lastly..these NBA analysts breaking down the games are a couple red noses away from official clown-status. Very painful to watch/listen to.

    • sellahh - May 8, 2012 at 6:28 PM

      Well, to me Webber was just about to call Griffin a goddamn pussy flopper at a few times that game but he liked his job with the NBA too much.
      Point of view, I guess.
      And you sir need to work on your comprehending skills cause what Barkley was saying was big picture. 16 points might win a game, but 4 rebounds a half for a player that Blake is won’t do the trick if the LAC are to go the distance.

  14. lakerluver - May 8, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Will someone please tell the Chucklehead to STFU already!! Blake gets clobbered nightly, so let him flop a little bit.

    • obijuan13 - May 8, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      That’s Turrible!

  15. granadafan - May 8, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    The NBA needs to take a lesson from FIFA and start punishing the floppers. Yes, flopping still exists in soccer, but at least there are rules penalizing the floppers. David Stern and the NBA need to seriously consider a technical foul for flopping.

  16. jimsjam33 - May 8, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Charles Barkely entered into the arena of politics last week to criticize George Romney . Negative of course . His idol is the flopper of the free world . So let’s move on to Blake Griffin . The most exciting player to hit the NBA since LeBron . Charles , you were blue collar and good for your era , but your nincompoop words about Blake are ridiculous . Shaq had your number last night and it was good to see you eat your words . The Clippers are winning games with a TEAM that likes Griffin and Paul . Clipper fans finally have a team that is competition worthy and all you can do is complain like a baby . Leave us alone loser . You never won anything and you certainly have lost the respect of LA Clipper fans . We expect other fans to dislike him and other cities to want us to lose , but that’s the whole concept of competition . When we were losing for 40 years in a row nobody cared . Now we have your attention . By the way Charles , I really don’t think the Spurs can win a series against us . I expect you to pick the Spurs in a sweep . Stay consistant ! I’m going to enjoy you eating your own words again . Charles continue the drag pictures . I think you found something you are really good at .

    • savvybynature - May 8, 2012 at 10:32 PM

      Really!??! The Spurs “can’t” win a series against Flop City?

      You have CP3 and Blake, Spurs have Tony Parker and Duncan at basically the same postions. Even IF you have a slight advantage there (I’ll agree CP3 is better than Parker but I still think Duncan is better than Blake at this point if you count defense too), the Spurs still have a better team at basically every other position and a WAY better coach. Oh, and, for what it’s worth, home court advantage.

      Explain to me again how they “can’t” beat you?

    • kavika6 - May 9, 2012 at 5:32 AM

      Is Barkley that old? George Romney has been dead for a long time.

  17. rosesacl - May 8, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    People accusing blake of flopping is a good thing…. it means the Clippers don’t suck for once in their 30 year lifetime. When nobody says nothing about your team… that’s when your team sucks.

  18. tampajoey - May 8, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Tiki Barber is floppergasted

  19. abchome - May 9, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Which NBA player didn’t flop?

  20. kavika6 - May 9, 2012 at 5:31 AM

    Chris Paul is a bigger flopper than Ginobili.

    • savvybynature - May 9, 2012 at 10:58 AM

      Flopping to sell a charge is one thing, but flopping when you aren’t even touched and you hit the ground like you’ve been shot (Reggie Evans)! Flopping when you hit yourself in the head (Griffin)?!!? Flopping when a ref brushes against you (CP3)?!?!?!

      The Clippers have brought it to a new level this year as a team and frankly, they should be embarrassed. It certainly is an embarrassment to the league and makes the refs look like jackasses.

      I hope they don’t advance too far just because it would set a bad precedent that flopping works. Hopefully the refs watch some game tape, see all this flopping, and let the other teams beat the crap out of them and don’t call ANYTHING unless they actually SEE the foul. You can no longer go by if it looks like a foul, because these pansies would rather act for 48 minutes than play basketball.

    • savvybynature - May 9, 2012 at 11:00 AM

      And yeah, I’ve never seen Manu flop when he hit himself in the face or a ref brushed his shoulder.
      He has done some flopping, but nothing like I’ve seen from the Clips this year.

  21. lemfax - May 9, 2012 at 6:47 AM


  22. mclayton31 - May 9, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Flopping takes away from the game. The NBA needs to address this

  23. originalsteelcurtain - May 9, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Blake gets beat on every night, because defenders have come to realize that he’s gonna work right throught a soft foul on his way to the rim. There isn’t a player in the league that took more hard fouls than Blake this year.

    Flopping has been part of the game for decades. Blake is a 2nd year player (WAY better than Chuckles or the even bigger joke WebHead ever were), who is still establishing relationships with the referees.

    Let the Refs handle it Round Mound! You’re comments are your opinion only, but for me they were turrrrible!

    Blake is a burgeoning superstar, and eventually will get the superstar treatment from the Refs.

  24. jimsjam33 - May 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    I guess Griffin was good enough and mean enough to get past the Grizzles . Sorry Charles .Shaq was right . On to San Antonio and the Spurs . Any predictions lug nuts ?

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