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Grizzlies coach backs off CP3 flopping charge, Clippers defend it

May 9, 2012, 7:01 PM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers' Paul puts his arm around teammate Griffin during NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Los Angeles Reuters

On national television Monday night, Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said, “Chris (Paul) does a good job of flopping.” After the game when I asked a couple Grizzlies players about it, there was a nod of acknowledgment followed by a refusal to discuss the topic. It felt like they were under orders (and frustrated after an overtime loss).

Wednesday, Hollins has backed off his comments, speaking to Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com.

“Flopping was the wrong word to use,” Hollins said. “At that moment, I couldn’t think of a better word. It was a first-quarter interview on national TV, but I retract that word. But he’s good at drawing fouls and putting you in a position where he’ll get you behind him and see you. He’ll stop and make you run into him. Chris is just a great player.”

Personally, I would go with flopping. Paul is an elite player who is great at drawing fouls, he does put defenders in awkward positions. He also flops.

O.J. Mayo was willing to discuss it with ESPN.

“Both teams are trying to play physical, but one team is a little better at acting than the other team,” Mayo said. “Those guys do flop. They’re great players. It’s working. They’re getting to the free-throw line. They’re able to put their opponent in foul trouble. If that’s what it takes to get the job done, I guess we all need to start doing it.”

And the Clippers are not denying they sell calls.

“I think so,” Griffin said. “It’s one of those things where every play means a lot. You never know what one play can do, so you’re making sure you’re getting every possession you can.”

Griffin, Paul and a lot of the Clippers get fouled a lot and get fouled hard. It’s a byproduct of their aggressive style. But they also sell those fouls to draw calls. You can see it during game replays. And you can also bet the NBA referees — a savvier bunch that most fans realize — know who embellishes.

All of this by the way is moot for Game 5 — the Clippers are not up 3-1 because Chris Paul flops, they are up 3-1 because he has been the best player in this series and by far the best in the fourth quarter. This has been a close, hard-fought series where Paul and the Clippers have executed better at the end.

If Memphis does not change that around Wednesday, they will be watching the Clippers in a flop-fest against San Antonio very soon.

  1. dirtyjerseysports - May 9, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    The NBA is turning into Soccer…. Oops Futbol.

  2. cdog0o7 - May 9, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Easy way to solve this problem. If you flop, its a technical. Flop twice, see you next game. The flopping instantly goes away.

    They should also be retroactive, so if you flop and the officials don’t call it, that technical is assessed for the next game.

    Would make you a less aggressive player – would eliminate the yapping – and would stop any flopping at the end of the game because officials are too afraid to make the call.

  3. abchome - May 9, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Of course, his players also flop, just not as good as some others…

    • abchome - May 10, 2012 at 10:45 PM

      http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/42451/flop-of-the-night-marc-gasol

  4. soflasfinest - May 9, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    FLOP CITY!

  5. Mr. Wright 212 - May 9, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    I was proud when he called Griffin out on national TV. DON’T RETRACT IT, LIONEL!

  6. rushbacker - May 9, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Paul is the worst flopper since Ginobli.

  7. slumdog66 - May 9, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Haters gonna hate. Ain’t that right Ms. wright? You just hate on he clippers. You must be a salty lakers fan. Denver got your tongue?

  8. 11jlacy - May 9, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    When I think flop I think vlade,manu,rodman,not c p 3 to solid.

  9. savvybynature - May 9, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Everyone starts talking about how the Clips have been egregiously flopping all season, so of course Helin sees an opportunity to accuse the Spurs of flopping.

    It’s like a child telling his parents, “But they did it first!” Can’t we just agree that the Clips’ flopping is a total embarrassment for the league and a bad development for fans? I didn’t see any flops from Spurs players in the entire 1st-round series, or the season for that matter, that can hold a candle to what Griffin, CP3 and Evans have been getting away with.

  10. obamablowz - May 10, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Griffin is SOFT

  11. lameasish - May 10, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Is anyone watching the game tonight? The clippers are lame, I agree with the other guy..is this soccer??

  12. ezmagic - May 10, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    The entire clipper team are a bunch of flopping PU$$IES. They deserve every hard foul they get.

  13. tsi431 - May 10, 2012 at 7:20 AM

    Someone here needs to do a Lob City vs Flop City number count, and see what the teams nickname should be.

  14. thacloser86 - May 10, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Clippers FLOP the most in the NBA FLOP CITY is the right term

  15. jimsjam33 - May 14, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    LOL ,
    Looks like we flopped into the second round !

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