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League announces fines of up to $30K for flopping. As if that will work.

Oct 3, 2012, 1:36 PM EDT

Blake Griffin, Tony Parker, flop Getty Images

The league hates flopping. They say it’s the integrity of the game, I think it’s more an image thing — David Stern read columnists last playoffs comparing the NBA to soccer, he saw his young up-and-coming Clippers called “flop city.” He knew something needed to be done.

Players say they hate it, too, but plenty of them do it because it could draw a foul and lead to a competitive advantage. They play to win. Plus there were no penalties in place.

There are now, the league announced its new flopping policy on Wednesday. And they gave it some teeth. Well, really dentures, these aren’t terribly sharp teeth. What the league is hoping for is a deterrent — players don’t want to be called out publicly and fined for flopping. Especially more than once.

While referees can still call flopping, that is very difficult at full game speed. So the league will review potential flops at the league office and issue penalties:

First offense in a season gets you a warning. Second time it is a $5,000 fine. Third time it is $10,000, fourth time $15,000 and if there is a fifth offense in a season the fine is $30,000. Go beyond that and the league has the option to give larger fines or issue suspensions. (This applies only to the regular season, different playoff flopping rules will come later.)

That’s not that much, but it’s not the biggest problem the league will face.

The challenge for the league will be making clear calls. There are some clear flops out there, but a lot of what fans see as the opponent flopping is something that started with contact and the question is whether the player exaggerated the impact. It’s not clean and simple.

Here is how the league is defining it, from their press release:

“Flopping” will be defined as any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player. The primary factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact.

Physical acts that constitute legitimate basketball plays (such as moving to a spot in order to draw an offensive foul) and minor physical reactions to contact will not be treated as flops.

There are people who will say the fines are not stiff enough, that players will still do it if they think they can get an advantage. Which is true. Guys are going to do it and keep selling calls in hopes of getting a future whistle. But hand-in-hand with it will be controversy this year about what the league rules as a flop and what it doesn’t.

This issue is far from resolved. Flopping is still going to be all over the NBA. But, there is now a starting place to curbing the practice. As much as it can be.

  1. andyoursistertoo - Oct 3, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Only reason your negative about this Kurt,is because your girlfriend LeBron is the worst offender of this rule. The guy could play linebacker for the dolphins and he falls to the ground after a little contact. This is perfect especially with all the Euro weenies in the NBA

    • jetstizzi85 - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      Just watch the headband. If it comes loose, he goes crazy with the “flops”

    • eventhorizon04 - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      ….Did you read the article? He said the fines should be higher. That’s not exactly saying “They shouldn’t do this because LeBron will get hit with fines.”

  2. bearsandjazz - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    I have to disagree….by far Chris Paul and Manu G. Are easily the biggest floppers. Tony Parker always falling to the floor is a close 2nd.

    • eventhorizon04 - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      My personal “All-Flop” team would be Chris Paul, Manu Ginobli, James Harden, Shane Battier, and Derek Fisher, but I’m sure it varies person to person.

      • jjordannba - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:19 PM

        No you gotta do it by position So at the Guard-Chris Paul, Ginobli, Forward-Battier, Gasol, Center-Anderson Varejo

      • zacksdad - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:55 PM

        The inventor of the flop is Valde Divac. But I disagree about Derik Fisher, he may flop sometimes but he takes some pretty hard charges.

    • hardballtalkusername - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:26 PM

      I’d throw Blake Griffin in there too

      • sysi45 - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:14 AM

        What about Dwayne Wade, he is on the floor after every shot.

  3. Michael DeCicco - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    I love what the NBA is doing here. They’re trying to make their game as pure as it can be, which for the fans is a major plus. It’s going to be weird when a superstar is fined for flopping though…

    • zerole00 - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      No, what would be awkward is a superstar getting called for traveling while driving to dunk. LoL man, I’ve seen vids of dunks where guys run from arc to the basket without dribbling once. The slow motion ones are especially awkward, I remember of a good Lebron dunk a couple months back on here.

      • sysi45 - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:18 AM

        If they called traveling, we would never see a layup or a dunk. It would be as if someone tied their shoelaces together.

  4. cantonbound13 - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    So much for a Heat dynasty.

    • eventhorizon04 - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:03 PM

      As a Knicks fan, you should feel secure in knowing no one will ever talk about a Knicks dynasty, so you never have to worry about one being taken away.

  5. deiong - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    its a good thing lebron makes a ton of money. hes gonna have to give a ton back.. MVF most valueable flopper

  6. Legacy112 - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Lol its amazing how much hate the heat get. Ive watched every game last season and every team is as guilty as the heat. Lebron flops, yes, so does kobe, so does durant, even big guys like hibbert flop. Its a tactic they all use to get free points. Teams like the spurs, lakers and celtics(paul pierce could teach a school for flopping) dont even get mentioned.

    • jjordannba - Oct 3, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      No The Celtics, rarely flop, only Pierce really, The Lakers ehhh, Spurs yes. But it’s more like The Clippers. They can teach a lesson on the art of flopping. Matter fact Chris Paul is the league’s premier flop instructor he got that whole team flopping: himself, Reggie Evans, and Blake Griffin. Go look at Blake before CP3 and after CP3 arrived his flops per game increased dramatically.

    • Clayton Bigsby - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:57 PM

      Paula Pierce can give a lesson in flopping and theatrics…remember that Celtic final when she miraculously jogged back into the court after being carried off the floor her teammates. pleeeazze

  7. Legacy112 - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    And if anybody gets the MVF its chris paul.

  8. reesesteel23 - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    LOL wishful thinking guys, if you think this affects the Heat at all LOL

  9. Mr. Wright 212 - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Chris Paul, Reggie Evans and half the Heat roster may go broke before the All-Star Break.

  10. jhuck92 - Oct 3, 2012 at 2:50 PM


  11. beavertonsteve - Oct 3, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    “any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player”

    -based on this wording this should also cover the offensive players that act like they’ve been hit been cannon fire after driving the lane and smashing into defenders.

  12. skinsfanwill - Oct 3, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Why don’t the refs just stop calling the flops as fouls. They don’t have to call it if a player flops. So now they are gonna continue to call the bullzhit fouls, but fine the players. That does no good if it costs a team a game. STOP CALLING THE BULLZHIT FOULS REFS!!!!!

    • lunasceiling - Oct 3, 2012 at 9:51 PM

      I agree. If the refs simply ignored the obvious flops, that would likely stop the practice a lot quicker than fines (pocket change to the superstars…) or even suspensions. Why? Well, if you sitting there on on your butt while play continues, your team’s playing 4-on-5.

  13. boondocksaint224 - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    I’m disappointed that nobody (you too, Helin) has mentioned that the NBA declared that they were going to start fining players for flopping all the way back in 2008, and did nothing about it. If anybody can show me even one instance where a player had been fined for flopping since then, I’ll buy you an ice cream cone.

    It was bull then, and it’s bull now.

  14. openseason51 - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    The boys at San Antonio each have already set aside $100,000 to pay for their sins.

  15. eugenesaxe - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    “Go beyond that and the league has the option to give larger fines or issue suspensions.”
    Screw fines. Suspensions are the only thing that’ll put a speed bump in flopping. And that “option” needs to be “mandatory”, otherwise cries of favoritism will ring in arenas across the country.

  16. monkeyhateclean - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    I applaud the league for realizing how flopping undermines the integrity of the game, and is implementing a system that determines flops post-game, thus doesn’t rely on their easily-intimidated refs.

    There are 2 changes I’d impose:

    The penalty for flopping would BEGIN at $30k, and max out at around $1 million for subsequent offenses. That would eventually even hurt the superstar floppers, and make it so bench players would quickly be playing for no salary after making a habit of flopping.

    I’d also monitor refs who consistently “miss” flops, and demote them to D-League games.

  17. manchestermiracle - Oct 3, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Maybe it’s good the league isn’t relying on the refs to call these flops during games, even though most are pretty obvious. A couple of flop calls early on resulting in technical fouls, free throws and the ball would nip this crap right in the bud. But then they have enough trouble telling the difference between blocks/charges, pick and rolls (an amazing number are illegal), and traveling.

  18. johnt15 - Oct 3, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Reggie Miller breathes a sigh of relief that this didn’t happen in 1992…

  19. curtiseflush - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    After watching Broke last night, I don’t think these guys will care. Missing games or even getting fouls will change behaviors.

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