Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The NBA Plans to End Flopping Through Penalties

There's an expression in sports that if you aren't cheating you aren't trying. That saying translates best to basketball and the NBA when it comes to flopping. Flopping is the practice of falling to the court despite little or no contact in an attempt to trick referees into calling a foul. Players to this on offense to get to the free throw line and on defense to cause turnovers. Some, like former New York Knicks forward Jared Jeffries, have made an art out of flopping. The NBA plans to end the trend towards flopping and hopes to bring a more honest approach to the game instead of rewarding the players who are better actors than others.

There's probably no way to know when flopping became such a huge part of play in the NBA. Was it caused by the influx of European players into the league? When did the NBA change from a league filled with tough players such as Rick Mahorn, Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer Anthony Mason and Charles Oakley to a league where players are better at falling to the floor and gracefully sliding on their rumps instead of moving their feet and using proper technique and strength to stop their opponents? Did Vlade Divac create this defensive style while trying to prevent the domination of Shaquille O'Neal?

Furthermore, what happened to bring tough on offense? Where are the days that when there's no blood there's no foul? The days when players would fight through contact on the way to the rim and when they were knocked down it was because they were really knocked down and might actually be hurt not just want a few cheap points from the free throw line to pad their stats?

The NBA intends to shift back towards the old days and help restore the belief and image that their referees know the rules and see what's happening on the court. While it's unlikely players will be penalized in the game for flopping the NBA will likely hit them where it counts — in their wallets — by reviewing the game tape.

The Associated Press through ESPN.com reports that the NBA competition committee is planning to put together rules and penalties to stop flopping and that they will be put into play this season.
The procedures likely will involve a postgame review of the play by the league office, rather than an official calling an infraction during the game, Frank said.
Players likely would be fined if the league determined they flopped.
"If you continue to do this, you may you have to suffer some consequences," Stern said about flopping during the NBA Finals. "What those exactly should be and what the progression is, is to be decided, because … we just want to put a stake in the ground that says this is not something that we want to be part of our game, without coming down with a sledgehammer but just doing it in a minimalist way to begin stamping it out. And I think there are ways we can do that and we'll have to wait and see exactly what we come up with."
How many times have you watched an NBA game only to see a blatant flop and wonder who the referee fell for it? Honestly, how exactly is it that every time a player is knocked to the ground they fall the same way and slide a good 15-20 feet away on their rumps?

The bottom line is that the NBA has been looking the other way for far too long. Flopping has become far too large of a part of modern basketball. It's been turning off fans for far too long and it’s time to put an end to the flop artist forever.

Beware Jared Jeffries. Beware Manu Ginobili. Beware Pau Gasol. Beware to all who think defense is about standing outside a painted ring under the hoop and falling to the floor when you can't contend a shot.

Beware to all who never developed their fundamentals and can't create their own shot and instead rely on drawing bogus fouls by jumping into defenders or falling to the court. Beware to all who fall to the floor grabbing their knees and screaming as if they had been struck by cars only to jump up and stay in the game once they are placed on the free throw line. Your days are numbered unless you don't mind signing your pay checks over to the NBA.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.
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