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Dirk Nowitzki says NBA will never be able to get rid of flopping

Jun 17, 2013, 3:22 PM EDT

Dirk Nowitzki AP

The subject of players selling contact to officials, or even downright faking it in hopes of duping a referee into blowing a favorable whistle has become a hotter topic than ever this season, thanks to a new anti-flopping policy enacted which was designed to clean this mess up.

It hasn’t had the desired effect, however, because the spotlight is on these types of plays now more than ever, and they’re continuing to take place even at the highest level of the sport during the NBA Finals.

In fact, unless penalties increase and become much, much stiffer, the league may never rid itself of these plays entirely. Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki said he believes that to be the case.

From ESPN Dallas:

“We’re never going to get rid of it,” Nowitzki said recently, according to The Dallas Morning News. “But you got to limit it. It’s part of sports. It’s part of winning. Some people are smart and do a little extra thing to kind of sell the call. To me, that’s part of sports.”

Nowitzki’s head coach in Dallas, Rick Carlisle, is a member of the NBA’s competition committee. And he said recently that an increase in penalties for flopping isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

“The competition committee met this week and a lot of progress has been made this past year and in the playoffs with the rule decreasing the amount of flops and attempted flops,’’ Carlisle said Saturday. “I believe we’re going to stay the course with the rule basically the way it is, and just continue to work to clean it up.

“And as time goes on, if it needs to be addressed again, it’ll be addressed again.’’

While the competition committee has a strong say in these matters, the commissioner’s office could truly impact the issue by making the fines for flopping far more substantial, or help push rule changes that would make consequences far more severe in real-time, during game situations.

But David Stern, who will leave his commissioner’s post next February, said that the league is only interested in stopping the blatant and egregious plays, as opposing to cracking down to the point where flopping could disappear from the game altogether.

“The report is that [flopping] is down,” Stern said, in an interview on NBATV before Game 5 of the Finals. “We’re calling attention to the obvious flops. We aren’t getting totally carried away with it.”

To translate what all of that means: At least for the time being, Nowitzki is right.

  1. crimhollingsworth - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Flopping can be entertaining though. See last night’s game @9:40 left in the first: LeBron misses the uncontested lob, Wade jumps over Danny Greene’s back, gets called for the foul, falls to the ground and fakes a head injury. Simultaneously, Mike Miller gets touched on the arm by Tony Parker’s hand; Miller jumps out of the picture like he was flagrantly fouled, then fakes a knee injury. Even funnier that the classy Spurs players were checking on Wade to see if he was ok.

    • borderline1988 - Jun 18, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      The Spurs don’t whine for calls as much as Miami, but they perhaps flop more than any team in the league (although the Clippers would give them a run for their money). Parker does the same thing as Wade (going down on every basically every play when going to the rim). Ginoibili – I don’t even want to talk about him.

      The Spurs are also the masters at setting illegal screens and not getting called for it. Lebron (legimately) got called for that moving screen in the 4th which negated the Ray Allen 3, but the Spurs do that on every single possession. Tim Duncan is the master of doing those small things that get buckets…whether sticking his hip out on a screen, holding a player slightly so he can’t help on Parker or Ginoibili, or pretending to be pushed when setting a screen but in the process holding back the guy he’s screening so that the ball-handler can get a switch or go straight to the rim.

      The Heat can’t stop the Spurs in the halfcourt…they need to get back on defense and pressure the ball as soon as it passes half-court. Popovich is a genius for getting his players to push up the court…it negates the ball pressure and the Spurs can run their sets and illegal screens and just destroy Miami’s defense.

  2. nolahxc - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Change the foul rules.

    • elcapitanfiscal - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      I hate how bigass dudes like lebron, Blake Griffin and Nowitzki are some of the biggest floppers..

      it makes it so much harder for a ref to call a game, then those same floppers get pissed when refs don’t get a call right

      Man the f up and play bball..

  3. JHathwell - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    It’s just a weird thing for the league and the fans to be preoccupied with. Flopping is just gamesmanship, and some form of it can be found in any competitive endeavor. Fixing it is probably hopeless.

    Basketball has alot bigger problems that it will never fix, starting with the charge/block call and the hopelessly antiquated foul-out rule, which never belonged in the sport in the first place and certainly doesn’t now.

  4. logisticalvoices - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    ” the hopelessly antiquated foul-out rule, which never belonged in the sport in the first place and certainly doesn’t now”

    Just curious how you don’t find flopping to be an issue but fouling-out, which is much more rare, is a huge issue. It takes a lot for an NBA player to achieve 6 fouls. I’m not sure how removing that rule improves the quality of play.

    • elcapitanfiscal - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      If you get rid of the fouling-out rule players would just foul all game..

      You don’t want that..

  5. hannsta - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    I dont know what you guys are talking about. I only watch basketball for the free throws. 30 minutes of TV time: 15 minutes of commercials, 10 minutes of free throws, 5 minutes of basketball. Thats how the game is meant to be.

  6. gmsingh123 - Jun 17, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    As long as the Heat continue to flop David Stern will be soft on floppers.

  7. valarmorghuliss - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    Give them post game technical fouls. 7 T’s and its a game suspension is it not?

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