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Mark Cuban is funding a study on flopping

Jun 7, 2013, 1:39 PM EDT

Mark Cuban,  Brian Forte AP

The league’s anti-flopping policy that was put into place this season hasn’t exactly done a whole lot to curb the embarrassing effort of some players to exaggerate or invent contact to try to garner a favorable (if incorrect) foul call from the officials.

David Stern said as much in addressing the media before the start of the NBA Finals, while also mentioning that fines or other penalties might have to be increased for them to truly act as a deterrent to this particular type of conduct exhibited by a percentage of the players.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is taking it a step further, and he’s putting his money where his mouth is.

From ESPN Dallas:

One of Cuban’s companies has provided $100,000 to Southern Methodist University for an 18-month investigation of the forces involved in basketball collisions and try to figure out if video or other motion capture techniques can identify legitimate collisions and instances of flopping.

“The research findings could conceivably contribute to video reviews of flopping and the subsequent assignment of fines,” SMU biomechanics expert Peter G. Weyand, who leads the research team, said in a statement.

Cuban tweeted: “Is it a flop? Let the scientists figure it out . im paying for the research to find out.”

This is where it gets interesting.

While many of the flops we see on a nightly basis during the regular season are obvious, there are others that are not. Specifically, when defensive players hit the deck on a block/charge call, it isn’t always discernable whether or not they were hit with enough force that would actually cause them to be knocked off of their feet. When it’s a smaller player defending a larger one in these situations, it’s even easier for the defender to exaggerate the contact to the point where the referees would buy it simply based on the size of each.

We’ll have to wait and see whether the study bears meaningful results, or if there comes a day when technology can tell us with any certainty whether or not a player is truly hit on a play where the contact is clearly exaggerated.

Short of science helping us out, the best way to put a stop to it for good would be to escalate penalties all the way up to a suspension for the offensive behavior — and that’s not somewhere the league is willing to go just yet.

“We could end it immediately if we decided to suspend players,” Stern said. “But that might be a little Draconian at the moment.”

  1. jjthesportsguy - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Flopping in basketball is like defensive lineman flailing their arms trying to draw a holding call in football. Unfortunately it is part of the game, should not be fined, and is solely at the discretion of the referees calling the game at the time. Get over it David Stern, go block some more trades.

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:53 PM

      forget the fact the ref’s suck, let’s go after the floppers, WTF is wrong with
      the commissioners of American sports, these guys are so clueless.

  2. northstarnic - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Easy. A flop results in a technical foul. Flopping would disappear fast.

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 7, 2013 at 5:19 PM

      flopping has been in the game for a long time, why not stop
      the phantom foul calls.

    • hannsta - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:39 PM

      Agree, its unsportsmanlike conduct which is already punishable by technical.

  3. asimonetti88 - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    I’m not sure I support the movement to get rid of flopping. If they successfully eradicated flopping I would have to find something new to complain about, and I’m not sure I’m ready to put that kind of effort in.

  4. thundersandpackers - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    The whole Heats team is worried……

  5. kingbeason52 - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    He better not go after Chris Paul then..

  6. jcmeyer10 - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    I love how Cubes is being a smart ass but is still trying to get something done.

  7. wgray981 - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Flopping should be part of the game. Lord knows the officials mess up enough calls anyways.

  8. taintedlombardis - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Uh oh. Lebron real scared.

  9. kanemoney - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    Just call a foul every time – a blocking foul. Simple.

  10. cantonbound13 - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Save your money & just review Heat postseason film.

  11. davidly - Jun 7, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Could it be that the reason why LBJ didn’t get hit for his second flop–and that nobody is writing about it–because they know the 10 large wouldn’t amount to squat compared to the effect it would have on his and the NBA’s image?

    This rule was clearly a mistake. If you really want to take a postgame look at flops, then do it fairly: If it is determined that there was a flop where there was no foul, but a foul was called, then the flopper should begin the next matchup with the same team with a foul, and the opposing team should get an extra possession, unless the foul resulted in points, when the opposing team should get those points.

    This way, the prospective flopper would have to consider whether or not it is worth starting the next game with that disadvantage.

  12. nawlinsmitty - Jun 7, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    If these dumb azz, barely educated players had better acting skills, the flopping would not be as noticeable.

  13. upperdecker19 - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Science = myths. Just like global warming.

    Vlade Divac

  14. thenew013 - Jun 8, 2013 at 6:52 AM

    i dont see this as neccessary. they can just keep the rule they have now but actually enforce it. i feel i am analyzing the game more than the folks getting paid to. DO YOUR JOB. ISSUE THOSE FINES! I see the flop. everyone watching sees the flop, but the league doesnt? please.

  15. gmsingh123 - Jun 8, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    Cuban is wasting his money–he should be developing his own line of cigars.

  16. neelymessier - Jun 8, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    blog entries = myths. type on your myth, plugged into the powermyth, while connected to the intermyth, and remove the myths of anti-lock brakes and airbags from your vehicle myth.

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