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NBA not making changes to toothless flopping fines; replay use expanded

Jul 18, 2013, 10:19 PM EDT

2013 NBA Draft Getty Images

This was David Stern back in June at the start of the NBA Finals, when asked about the league’s flopping policy of reviews, warnings, then $5,000 and escalating fines:

“It isn’t enough. It isn’t enough. You’re not going to cause somebody to stop it for $5,000 when the average player’s salary is $5.5 million. And anyone who thought that was going to happen was allowing hope to prevail over reason.”

That’s what we were all thinking. So we were going to see a change right?


The NBA owners (in their Board of Governor’s meeting in Las Vegas) voted to continue the flopping policy and fines as is for another season. This was Stern (who works for the owners, remember) on Thursday after the BOG meeting.

“There was a report on our flopping rules and the competition committee thought they were working well and didn’t recommend any changes to them,” Stern said.

Okay then. Apparently somebody thought that worked last season so we are going to get another round of it.

Stern also talked about how there was some discussion of ways to speed up the replay process. What that could mean is by next playoffs there will be a fourth official at the desk to handle replay, and eventually the NBA could go to an NHL-like system where a central office makes all the video replay calls (that process is generally quicker than the NBA’s current system).

“It’s always something that’s a tradeoff, but we really want to get it right,” Stern said.

While flopping system of penalties stays the same, there are a number of other replay and rule changes for next season:

• Replay can now be used with wider latitude on block/charge plays — before referees could only use it to determine whether a defender was inside or outside the restricted area, now officials can reverse a charge call, or uphold a blocking call at the same time. Meaning they can call a block, look at the video and change the call to a charge.

• Replay also now can be used to determine whether an off-ball foul occurred before or after a player has started his shooting motion on a successful shot attempt, or before or after the ball was released on a throw-in.

• Finally with replay, if a referee is looking at one call and sees an unsportsmanlike, flagrant penalty that was not called, he can now make that call.

• One new rule says if an offensive player “leaves the floor and does not immediately return to the floor” (providing he is not injured or something) his team will give up possession.

• Stern also spoke on the impact of new CBA on free agent movement.

“There’s a little bit more free agent movement than we had under the old agreement, and that is something we projected and expected, because there’s more player sharing as teams under the cap acquire players and as teams who are up against the tax level or above it find themselves making harder decisions about what players are necessary to retain or not.”

He said this makes the league more competitive.

• Stern said he expects there to be approved testing of HGH for players once the league and union discuss the issue. However, right now the union leadership is shifting so things are stalled.

  1. tampajoey - Jul 18, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    David Stern is so incompetent he should run for President.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:33 AM

      David Stern should definitely run for president, but he’s not incompetent. He knows EXACTLY what he’s doing. He’s the perfect politician with his snake a s $

    • jcmeyer10 - Jul 19, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      Will people please remember how to separate Stern the business man and Stern the basketball rules maker?

      As a business man, he has been the best thing for the game ever. As a rules maker of the game, he has a long way to go.

  2. dezglobal - Jul 18, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    The NBA should definitely adopt the NHL-like system where a central office makes all the video replay calls. It makes everything so much faster & the refs won’t have to worry about being harassed by the fans for unpopular, but fair calls.

    • Kurt Helin - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:53 PM

      The refs will be harassed and booed either way, good or bad calls because fans don’t see things objectively. Just part of the gig now. They know and accept it.

  3. dezglobal - Jul 18, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    IDK why everyone hates on Stern.. He’s a great NBA Commish.. If it wasn’t for him and his rules/regulations the NBA wouldn’t be as rich with global endorsements. He’s a great businessman.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:40 AM

      I wish I could type out an essay without fear of P b _t blocking my comments so I can Illustrate why he is so bad. Every time I’m being real and I bring the heat I get blocked. I’ll get lucky if this response even makes it through.

      Don’t get me twisted, D Stern knows how to go about his business in a professional fashion and does it well, but he’s a lawyer by education and he’s as slippery and slimy as they get.

      • jcmeyer10 - Jul 19, 2013 at 9:19 AM

        But he’s the reason why this game is on ABC Primetime and why it’s so popular. Yes he can be skeezy and doesn’t quite understand the game he’s running but he made this intp a viable business that will be solvent for years to come.

      • Anoesis - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        Stern is a manager, not the product. The players are the reason the league has done well since the dark days of the late 70s. If you want to give proper credit where credit is due, look no further than Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Those guys resurrected the league, Stern is just a suit.

  4. tigers182 - Jul 18, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    Man, if they did away with flopping altogether, the Spurs may not even make the playoffs.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:43 AM

      Neither would the Heat.

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:48 AM

        ……… disrespect though, they earned the hell out of their ‘chip in 2013. But they flop like a new Vanilla Ice record.

      • miamatt - Jul 19, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        Don’t disagree with the above comment but let’s not act like there’s a single team in this league that doesn’t flop.

  5. Sports King of this world - Jul 19, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    I love it. Do something..

  6. jhuck92 - Jul 19, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    They want to give Miami the 3-peat. That’s the only logical explanation.

  7. 13arod - Jul 19, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    I dont thing the nba could extend the reply anymore because the look at every close play

  8. lunasceiling - Jul 19, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    The NBA could learn from FIFA in this matter. There’s still too much diving in soccer, but since the referee has been able to give a player a yellow card for “simulation,” there’s been a dramatic reduction.

    That’s because it’s a penalty with a direct impact on the game. A player with a yellow has to alter how they play for the rest of the game, lest they get sent off for a second (and it’s even worse if they’ve picked up several over multiple games and are looking at an accumulation suspension).

    The NBA should consider allowing the refs to T up floppers. A nominal fine means nothing to a multi-millionaire athlete. Risk of ejection is a much better deterrent.

  9. skinsfanwill - Jul 19, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    I think it’s time to start holding the refs accountable for CALLING those flops. If a player isn’t getting the calls, he will either foul out or STOP FLOPPING. No need to fine the players when all you have to do is stop calling it. it’s that simple.

  10. northstarnic - Jul 19, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    NBA is the Justin bieber of pro sports leagues. All hype, no substance.
    MeBron the Flop is the poster child of a league that cares far more about pushing product than high quality team play.
    Frankly, I am glad to be in a small market. Even though the league will actively work to see my local club be less successful, we are also stuck with less of the trash the league promotes.

  11. anhdazman - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    I actually thought the Flopping fines did help cut down the issue during the regular season. We saw a lot less of it.

    But I think those fines should carry over to the playoffs. Offenders should not get any break if they’ve done it prior in the season. Keep doubling up the fines to get the message across.

  12. deiong - Jul 19, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    think this stayed the same because LeBron said there is nothing wrong with cheating.. I mean flopping.. so he will continue to do it, they wont dare stop there biggest money maker no matter how bad he has to cheat to be the best in the game right now in this no defense league……

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