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James Harden fined $5,000 for flop against Blake Griffin, Clippers (VIDEO)

Nov 11, 2013, 3:07 PM EDT

Congratulations James Harden, you have become the first player fined by the NBA for flopping this season.

Harden had been warned before this season, then on Saturday against the Clippers the flop above happened. And it was a flop. Harden drove the lane, missed the shot, got his own rebound as he faced the baseline behind the basket, Blake Griffin came up close to defend him and Harden fell like he got a two-hand shove to the back. It worked, he got the call.

The fine is $5,000. As David Stern himself noted last season, that amount is too small to have much of an impact but the owners didn’t want to raise the amount. So don’t expect this to have much impact. Note here that in the game Harden got the call and so long as players think they can influence games they will sell and exaggerate calls. Unless you make the penalty so onerous they have to stop.

  1. RavenzGunnerz - Nov 11, 2013 at 3:13 PM


  2. Wammy Giveaway - Nov 11, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    If I were commissioner of the NBA, I would handle flopping as so:

    1. If a player gets caught flopping, it’s an automatic technical foul.
    2. In addition to the technical, to dissuade any player from fooling the officials, the player is automatically and immediately ejected from the game.
    3. The player who flopped also gets a one-game suspension.
    4. The player of the team who flopped also is penalized with an extra loss added to their regular season record.

    I think of flops as rigging. As in, “the player tried to rig the game by faking a foul in order in order to steal a win.” The NBA seems very reluctant to deliver penalties this harsh unless if the player was a repeat offender. Last season, no NBA player was ever suspended for flopping, but the maximum fine handed out was $10,000 if I remember correctly. The league front office has already put a stamp on fights, dress code, drugs, and rookie honor codes (read: Michael Beasley, Shabazz Muhammad). Why aren’t they taking a stomp on flopping seriously?

    • benjamintko - Nov 11, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      One game suspension will stop all these shenanigans for sure.

      side note, Harden needs some lessons.

    • antistratfordian - Nov 11, 2013 at 3:55 PM


      Flops are happening constantly. It’s like holding in football. Is it rigging/cheating? Not necessarily, because both sides partake – it’s so ubiquitous that you can only hope to punish the most egregious violations. So in this game James Harden was fined $5,000 for his flop – even though it was only 1 of 100 “flops” in the game.

      I think what the league is doing is appropriate. They just need to remain consistent, diligent and public – and slowly, over time, the players will come around.

      • davidly - Nov 12, 2013 at 2:57 AM

        Did I really need irony code for that comment?

    • davidly - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      Perfect solution. So, since everybody knows that no-one would risk a suspension and loss for the sake of selling a foul, they won’t have to bother looking for flops and can just go back to calling the game as they had before.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:57 PM

        “In addition to the technical, to dissuade any player from fooling the officials, the player is automatically and immediately ejected from the game.”

        “Perfect solution.”

        …and then the ref calls a flop on your team’s best player and he’s ejected, except that it clearly wasn’t a flop – now where do you stand?

        In a situation like this the punishment needs to err on the side of mild, not overreact towards this type of harshness – you’re then putting far too much power into the hands of the refs.

        This makes sense only if you want to start more conspiracy theories.

  3. bballhistorian - Nov 11, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    As a Houston native…ive watched most of the Rockets games this season…and i can guarantee you Harden will have many more fines coming this season. (already fined in the 2nd week of the season). That’s part of his game, like it was for CP3 the last couple of seasons (although he’s improved on that category).

    This also can’t be great news for the rockets, since they depend on Harden, even more than Dwight at this point. If he can’t be 100% himself on the court, that affects his scoring for some reason. So either he adjusts, or better set aside some money for the “Flopping Fine Fund”.

  4. spacemaker101 - Nov 11, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    He should be suspended for the rest of the season

  5. moseskkim - Nov 11, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Harden fighting to get to the line! Watches replay.. Whoooops hahaha

  6. eugenesaxe1 - Nov 11, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Stern knows the penalty is pointless. The owners don’t want to put any teeth into the rule. Might as well eliminate the rule, it’s not doing anything to solve the problem.

  7. detroitbasketballfan - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Flop so hard, motherf***ers want to fine me.

  8. alexb1234 - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    there used to be a fine line between selling a foul to draw a call and flopping….now bc of players like reggie miller who spawned guys like harden, manu, chris paul, etc it is killing the game of basketball….flopping is cheating

  9. kb2408 - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Man, what a freaking joke! This dude flops on defense AND on offense?!

  10. rodyaugu - Nov 11, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    I thought lebron was the biggest flopper in the nba according fans with selective memory.

  11. dlhouse18 - Nov 11, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Make it a technical foul and keep the fines

  12. Anoesis - Nov 11, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Harden was playing against the team that flops the most. He was just showing his respect.

    • davidly - Nov 12, 2013 at 7:42 AM

      Ha! Had they been in LA, upon getting the foul call, he could’ve pointed to the Blake Griffin banner hanging in the rafters and then kissed his fingers or whatever.

  13. jammer73 - Nov 11, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Kinda looked more like he slipped on the floor than flopped. WTF?

    • davidly - Nov 12, 2013 at 7:47 AM

      I agree absolutely.

  14. belleby123 - Nov 11, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    They’re handling the flops all wrong: Harden should be fined because his flop looked so crappy. He needs to have the graceful, ballerina like quality of a Shane Battier.

  15. golfrangeman - Nov 11, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Here’s an Idea educate the refs. When players stop getting the calls they stop flopping, plain and simple.

    • reastnt - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:20 PM

      Now there’s the first sensible suggestion I’ve seen. The whole “penalize flopping” thing is silly, in my view. Just call fouls; don’t call flops. Ref sees a guy flopping, he should be less likely to give him the benefit of the doubt next time around.

  16. riders008 - Nov 11, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    My thing is how dumb r the refs to keep getting fooled ….these guys r lawyers and doctors in the off season ……but dumb as hell when it comes to flopping…..maybe stop calling very little thing and that will help persuade them to stop ….if they know they can get away with it they will do it ….

  17. dabceb - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Call a foul for delay of game or fine all of the refs for not making the obvious call.

  18. losanginsight - Nov 11, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    NBA have more important things to worry about like what team is supposed to win, the point spread, and non- calls.

  19. savvybynature - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Floppiest player I’ve ever seen in the NBA… and yes that includes Chris Paul, Divac and a whole host of others. Half of this guy’s effectiveness is based on flopping and intentionally causing contact, only to flop like a little girl from the contact he caused!

    He is an effective player, but I simply can’t respect him or be a fan of his pathetic, shameless brand of basketball.

  20. ufools - Nov 12, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    Bahahaha……I seriously laughed out loud at the video with the little explosion of fire off Blake that shot Harden away and too the floor….HILARIOUS!!! Well, since it didn’t change the outcome of the game it’s hilarious.

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