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Stern is going on a “stop flopping” crusade, will look at rules

Jun 14, 2012, 9:10 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One Getty Images

Flopping in the NBA is not a new issue — Vlade Divac mastered it long ago — but it has become a bigger topic of discussion in the last year. Talk about flopping is seemingly everywhere and suddenly there are people wondering if there is more flopping in the NBA or international soccer.

David Stern does not like that talk. Not one bit. You know how he gets about the NBA’s image. Flopping came up at his annual meeting with the media before Game 1 of the NBA finals and he was clearly frustrated.

“‘Flopping’ almost doesn’t do it justice,” Stern said. “Trickery. Deceit. Designed to cause the game to be decided other than on its merits. We’ll be looking at that.”

By “we” he means his streamlined (read: easier to control and manipulate) competition committee, which is going to start meeting next week. That committee has a couple owners, a couple GMs, players and owners (it used to be the 30 NBA GMs that decided rule changes). Stern said he has seen the agenda for the competition committee and flopping is on it.

Looking at it is one thing, the bigger challenge is how do you address it — if you’re talking about a charge/block situation that is a tough call anyway.

“Instant replay and elimination of tricks that are designed either to fool the ref or, if you don’t fool the ref, to make the fans think that the refs made a bad call by not calling it,” Stern said. “That shouldn’t have a place in our game….

“We don’t like to get into a situation where we tell the officials, ‘This is the rule but don’t call so many.’ If there’s a rule to be changed, then we’ll look at it, and I think there will be a robust discussion about an interpretation or an emphasis about how that should or shouldn’t be called.”

Flopping can already be called as a foul and you can train the referees to look for it more. But the problem remains that it is an interpretation call and guys are looking for an edge. There are going to be struggles enforcing this because flops will still get foul calls and some fouls will get called flops. It is not going to be clean.

But they are going to try to do something. David Stern is tired of the talk.

  1. allmyteamsareterrible - Jun 14, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Anything that distances the game of basketball from the joke that is soccer is a good thing in my book.

    Maybe now Dwyane Wade can get off the ground every time he touches the ball. I have never seen a player flop more in my life. Did anyone see Battier flopping at the end of Game 1 in the last 2 minutes? Thoroughly enjoyed them not being called.

    • reesesteel23 - Jun 14, 2012 at 9:34 AM

      Lol yea Miami is definitely the only team that flops!…what a joke….I can name 2-3 players from every team that does it on a consistent basis.

      • allmyteamsareterrible - Jun 14, 2012 at 9:47 AM

        which is why I said “Anything that distances the game of basketball from the joke that is soccer is a good thing in my book.” There are no other teams playing but the Heat and Thunder right now so why would I talk about anyone else?

        Are you trying to tell me Wade doesn’t live on the floor? How many points in transition have the Heat cost themselves by falling to the ground and whining about fouls instead of getting back in transition defense? Get out of here.

        Would you be happy if I started talking about Anderson Varajao flopping? Who cares. It’s the finals the only thing relevant in basketball right now is the Heat and the Thunder.

      • lmoneyfresh - Jun 14, 2012 at 11:34 AM

        Wade “earned” his title on the floor. If the Mavs breathed on him he hit the deck and got FTs.

      • cantonbound13 - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM

        When are the Heat retiring Tim Donaghy’s jersey for the gift of 2006?

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        No you can’t. There isn’t a Knick who flops — unless you count Melo ONCE IN A WHILE flailing his arms offensively. No one does, defensively and no one else verbally (or otherwise) flops offensively.

      • tubal22 - Jun 14, 2012 at 8:03 PM

        Seems like I remember the Knicks signing Baron Davis a while ago. He has one of the greatest flops of all time.

    • abchome - Jun 14, 2012 at 9:57 AM

      I was “surprised” to see Battier flop. He’s one of the first who suggested the league to ban flopping, who mocked former teammate Luis Scola’s long hair being a key for flopping…

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        Battier has been flopping for a decade. And did it in college also. All the more reason to hate Duke.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      Wade has been swan diving to the floor every time he shot the ball since it won him that ring in 2006.

  2. Richard Phillips - Jun 14, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    It will really slow down the game if they try to look at replays to determine flops. Fine players for flops after the game. That will get their attention and force them to change the way they play.

    • letangusespertplus - Jun 14, 2012 at 10:14 AM

      things to be done about that as well. if a flop is determined to be the case give the team 2 free throws and the ball and a personal foul on the player that flopped. i bet it’ll go away instantly.

      • Richard Phillips - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:01 PM

        I think that would be too hard to administer and would put more interpretation in the hands of already incompetent officials. Would also lead to more whining from players when think their defender flopped and think they should get free throws.

    • rips08 - Jun 14, 2012 at 10:17 AM

      I agree fines are a step in the right direction, but I would add a suspension after X flops, like they do with technicals. I wouldn’t put it on the ref in game as much as I would have them reviewed by the league. I think they are hard to determine at full speed, but when you see the replays, some of them are obvious. Those are the ones that should draw fines and lead to suspensions for a game.

    • lmoneyfresh - Jun 14, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      I think if they do it like they do with last seconds shots and review at the end of the quarter it could work. That could be tough on calls that happen early in the quarter, but its an idea.

  3. 16x8equal49ers - Jun 14, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    Flopping is a disease, it grows and becomes uncontianable. Soccer has tried to give out more fouls for it, and basketball will now. On tv it’s easier to see but ingame speed it’s harder to judge becuase the official has little time to judge because play continues. It’s here and it here to stay.

  4. 20dollardinners - Jun 14, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Just call a foul EVERY TIME. If the position of the defender was perfectly set – charge. Otherwise – blocking.

    The amount of no-calls makes it too easy for players to flop.

  5. phillyphil005 - Jun 14, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    The solution is easy…you don’t put it on the refs. They make the calls the same way they have been.

    What you do is have the NBA and the committee review after and discipline the ones determined as flops. Something like first offense = fine, second offense = larger fine, third offense = suspension, and so on and so forth.

    I imagine flopping would dissipate rather quickly after those fines and suspensions start coming down.

  6. giselleisasucubus - Jun 14, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Why is everyone blaming flopping on Divac? Because Steven A Smith said so? King of the Flop- REGGIE MILLER. Why is that guy getting off easy?

  7. smackingfools - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    If Carmelo can get people to stop snitching then surely he can get then to stop flopping.

  8. cantonbound13 - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Just suspend Wade for a season. Flopping problem solved.

  9. aboogy123456 - Jun 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    One easy way to improve the flopping problem is to give a technical to a player after the game for OBVIOUS flops. Sometimes for the close ones it’s hard to tell if the player is really flopping, but then there are Blake Griffin, Reggie Evans type flops. If you give a technical to a player for an obvious flop, after the game, this will deter players from trying to flop because they’re worried it might be obvious and then get a technical. This will also add to their total technicals for the season, so they risk missing a game if it adds up. It’s a small change without a lot of risk.

  10. mclayton31 - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    allmyteamsareterrible, thanks fir clearing that up dude. Heat fans tend to think that every comment made about their team is a personal attack. It’s just flat out stating the obvious.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:54 PM


  11. ras1tafari - Jun 14, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    This will be another way the NBA can ‘manipulate’ games by selectively calling some “flopping” foul on the team it has chosen to lose a particular game.

  12. Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 14, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    You can start with the notorious floppers. Just like Ron has a “reputation”, certain guys have reputations for unapologetic floppers (Wade, Harden, Chalmers, Battier, Pierce, FISHER, Gasol, PAUL, Rondo, Scola, etc.) and then you have guys who are developing into floppers, but are bad at it (James, Griffin) and penalize them in order to discourage these 2nd and 3rd year guys who are beginning to do it (Rose).

    The problem is, the league doesn’t want to punish their big name, oversaturated, overmarketed moneymakers — as they are the biggest offenders (although Durant and Kobe are the two big superstars who only do it once in a blue moon), so they won’t do anything substantial about flopping.

  13. rohlo - Jun 14, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    manu the flopper ginobli….. lots of players flop! they should warn players it will count as a techinical foul and if you do it twice your ejected.. flopping is lame!

  14. lunasceiling - Jun 14, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Football (soccer) is actually making some strides in this area, with yellow cards being given out for “simulation.” First time I saw that happen, I could hardly believe what I was seeing…then I applauded. Still needs to be a lot more of this, but it’s a start. The NBA could do well by following the same method: give the flopper a “T,” and a second (with the attendant ejection) if it happens again.

  15. scalfor3 - Jun 14, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    why no heat fan can ever complain about flopping

  16. thetooloftools - Jun 14, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    My problem is good (any) defense in the NBA is being punished. Back in the day you could NEVER drive unmolested to the back or the D would collapse and knock you on your (|). Today defenders just clear a path for the Superstars and an ESPN highlight is made. This B.S. about today’s players being the best athletes, so be it… better ballers, hell no. They couldn’t handle the old school game where EVERY bucket was earned… not just at the end of the games. Guys now just drive to the basket with impunity and guys that try to position themselves to take a charge are now being called floppers. I don’t even watch the NBA until the playoffs and the more I’m seeing, the more I am convinced I’m not missing very much. I really like change if it’s for the good. Players today are paid HUGE money and nobody wants to see people get hurt. But the NBA has become “No Banging Allowed”. I hated Bill Laimbeer from the Pistons with the every core of my being. I called him BAM BAM like Barney Rubble’s little kid from The Flintstones because he loved contact and I never missed an opportunity to see him knock someone down in the paint and then give the “who… me… what?’ look at the official while some dude was laying on the floor rolling around in pain.
    I hated/LOVED him. Must see tv.
    In today’s wussy game he would have been thrown out. If you look at Laimbeer, he put his hands over his head and moved that body (made the sacrifice to take the hit) right in the position to be very tough to drive on. An art. Those days are gone. Now that guy is dirty or “what was he thinking doing that” player. He was a tough S.O.B. [Everyone hated The Pistons back then so it was cultural].
    Superstar’s are running the NBA now.
    Like Rondo said, “They [Miami] were crying on the court in transition”…. and he was right.
    I don’t need to watch a league with crying diva 8itches.

  17. goldenrodenthockey - Jun 14, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Not endorsing flopping, mind you-but of greater issue is the reluctance of the officials to allow good defense to be played. It pains and tortures me to see a defender go straight up in contesting a jump shot, only to have the shooter blatantly leap into the defender to earn a cheap trip to the charity stripe. To me, that qualifies as an offensive foul, as it is both offensive and foul.

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