The End of the Flopping Scare of 2012

From the Tommy Morris Dictionary of Words I Know:

Flop- noun. def. The act of drawing a penalty or foul call, when no such penalty or foul has been committed, by deceiving officials.

A well executed three man flop

The NBA will now start to fine players for usage of the dreaded flop.   This new era of flop punishment will help protect basketball from the slop that it was slowly becoming in 2012 and will give the referees some much needed help.

The flop has been a tactic used in every sport with a referee since the beginning of mankind.  There is no sport more heavily infected by the flop than soccer.

While flopping occurred in the NBA, it did not become an epidemic until recently when soccer loving international players infiltrated the NBA.  The flop became hard to ignore last season in the playoffs. The flop’s affect on the game was highlighted by the Clipper’s Chris Paul, who was portraying a victim from Saw in search of a foul call every time a Grizzly was within his vicinity.  Paul’s acting showed that now domestic players had been exposed to the flopping virus, so David Stern did the right thing this offseason by stepping in and making a change.

Chris Paul looking for a call.

By nipping flopping in the butt now Stern has helped preserve the future of the game.  Kids look up to NBA players and it would have only been a matter of time before youth teams started to learn the ways of the flop (not far behind would be that one guy who calls everything a foul in your weekly pick-up game.)  Take a look at youth soccer teams.  Kids are diving and holding their ankles in agony just like their favorite pro players.  By issuing punishment the NBA is showing that basketball is not a place for floppers in any level.

While flops are detectable in an elementary school basketball game, pro sports are a different story.  Pros move too fast for the human eye to get every call right and having to decipher a flop from a real foul makes the process of making the correct call impossible.  This added difficulty angers officials because it not only makes their jobs harder, it also makes them look bad when they fall for a flop and its replayed over and over, and over again.  Because of the officials’ frustration with flops, in game seven of the Clippers, Grizzlies series the referees decided to go vigilantly.  Their solution?  Call nothing.  This led to one of the most physical games of the NBA season.  While it was entertaining to watch, for the sake of player safety it cannot take place every game.  Now that officials know that they will be protected from floppers, they can call games normally.

Mickael Pietrus pleading his case.

The only legitimate argument against the new rule is that if a flop is called a foul there will be no punishment until after the game.  Penalizing a player on the spot for flopping would be impossible because it would require a video replay at almost every whistle which would destroy the flow of the game.  Even though there will not be instant consequences, this punishment will work.  Last season there was no downside to a player flopping other then the ridicule that player would receive when the replay was shown.  Now players will have to think about their wallets before catapulting themselves six feet backwards in search of a charging foul.  Is one reaching call worth $10,000?  I would hope not.

Acting skills started to become such a factor, that by the way things were going towards the end of last season the production team at NBA2k would have had to seriously start considering adding that attribute to their games.  Now with punishments for floppers basketball can be basketball again.

About tommymorrismedia

USC '12, Co-host Executive Producer Unsportsmanlike Conduct. Play-By-Play KXSC for football, basketball, and baseball.

Posted on October 4, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. TPayne here – I like it Tommy, but keep in mind the NHL – when it exists anyway – punishes players immediately for flopping, or “diving” as they call it. So say Dustin Brown catches Joe Thornton with a vigorous yet incidental slash to the shinguard and Jumbo Joe does his best King Kong impression while falling down – they both get matching penalties. Brown for tripping, Thornton for Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

    To compound this Thornton would then get his name placed on the “Diver’s List” which is updated and given out to referees several times per season. This way the refs know which players are repeat offenders in their charade. I think the NBA could benefit from such a list, assuming one doesn’t already exist, since it highlights which players are most likely to flop. In the case of a megastar like CP3 the refs are already privy to his antics, but the list could really help the referees in locating the lesser known roleplayers on other teams with a flair for the dramatic and an uncanny lack of balance.

    And of course, we all know that the worst flop in the history of professional sports was committed last year by Mr. James Harden. I mean who the hell could get injured by “World Peace” behind that football mask of facial hair adorning Harden’s chin?

    Either way keep up the good work with this blog, hope you’re doing well.

  2. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author.I will remember
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