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Flopping, international goaltending rule targets of new NBA rules committee

May 21, 2012, 11:22 AM EDT

David Stern AP

No longer will all 30 NBA general managers be voting on rule changes. And really, why should the guys in charge of basketball operations teams be in charge of rule changes? That makes sense.

Under the direction of David Stern, the NBA has put together a smaller committee made up of owners, GMs and coaches that will streamline the process, come up with recommendations then bring them to the owners for a vote. To hear Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News tell it, Stern did this to get a smaller committee of his people he could control in place, as opposed to the independent minded GMs who were making the decisions before.

So what is this new group going to attack?

Stern’s new committee is expected to work on two major rules changes right away: Adopting the international rule for goaltending, meaning that balls could be legally knocked off the rim or backboard that now would result in a basket; and penalizing “floppers….”

As for flopping, Stern recently came out strongly against the tactic, after the league fined Indiana coach Frank Vogel $15,000 for saying before the Miami-Indiana series that the Heat is the “biggest flopping team in the NBA.”

Flopping and calling guys on flopping has become a big issue these playoffs. The common perception is that European players do this the most, but I dare anyone saying that to watch the Los Angeles Clippers — with American born Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Reggie Evans — and say that is the case. The question becomes how to do this without asking the referees to now judge the intent of the players, which has its own risks.

Stern has been big on the internatonal goaltending rule for a while — once the ball hits the rim it is far game to be knocked off or tipped in, there is no “over the cylinder” rule. If a shot goes up and bounces off the rim you can just grab the ball right off it. Some players (and GMs) have been hesitant to do that in the NBA because imagine if Andrew Bynum, Dwight Howard, JaVale McGee and other big men get practiced at this? The rule would certainly clear up what can be a gray area call at times, but at what cost?

However, Stern has wanted it for years, so…

By the way, here is the makeup of the new competition committee. Decide for yourself how under the thumb of Stern it will be.

The members are: owners Dan Gilbert (Cleveland) and Joe Lacob (Golden State); GMs Bryan Colangelo (Toronto), Mitch Kupchak (Lakers), Kevin O’Connor (Utah) and Sam Presti (Oklahoma City); and coaches Rick Carlisle (Dallas), Lionel Hollins (Memphis) and Doc Rivers (Boston).

  1. ihavenonickname - May 21, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Flipping? How does kurt still have a job…

  2. Filipe Furtado - May 21, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Soccer has had some sucess reducing flopping (or at least flopping attempts to get penalties kicks) by allowing refs to punish players for it particularly home players that can hope that at flopping will at least affect crowd. I d say given refs power to give techs for overly blatant flops would keep Reggie Evans types under better control.

  3. phillyphan83 - May 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    they do it in hockey too, now they call diving. same thing and it worked. there is hardly as much diving as there was before, with the exception of shitsburgh and cindy crybaby of course.

  4. steamedcrabs - May 21, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    How are Dan Gilbert and Joe Lacob the two owners? One is regularly laughed at by the entire country and the other is consistently booed by his own fans.

    • Kurt Helin - May 23, 2012 at 3:58 AM

      How many owners are not booed by their team’s fans? 5?

  5. hwatt - May 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    He should be asking himself ‘why do players feel the need to flop?’. The answer would be “they feel the officiating is ridiculously biased and inconsistent”. Addressing the flopping without addressing the source of the flopping (players and refs interpretation and enforcement of the rules) sounds like a waste of time.

  6. drewvt6 - May 21, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    If the NBA wants to stop flopping they should fine CoachK and the entire Duke program.

  7. andre504 - May 21, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    “once the ball hits the rim it is far game to be knocked off or tipped in”

    Kurt, you get criticized frequently about your punctuation, grammar, and spelling but I think it is fair. Just re-read your posts once and you will most likely find these errors.

  8. therealhtj - May 21, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Eliminate the off-ball charge and you’ll eliminate 95% of flops right there. Dude takes off, he should have carte blanche and some defender rotating over has the choice to get out of the way or foul.

    • david0303 - May 21, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      so if you blow past the first person and the rotating player is a small guard then you almost automatically get a bucket or a foul? sounds like a terrible rule to me

    • therealhtj - May 21, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      No, once you pick up your dribble, an opportunistic defender shouldn’t be allowed to rotate over, plant himself and draw a charge. It’ll eliminate a bunch of injuries too.

  9. heyjohnnyfive - May 21, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    I would like to see the flop removed from the game as much as possible. I feel indifferent about the goaltending.

    Even tho it’s brilliant strategy, “Hack a Shaq” the way Pop does it should also be limited somehow. Doesn’t make for a great NBA experience from a fan/product perspective.

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