It's hard to get away from it for those who watch the NBA on at least a semi-regular basis. So I won't leave you hanging for long. Players flop. The end. Shortest point ever, right?
How can this possibly be made into an entire article? Actually, the commissioner himself, Mr. David Stern, made sure this subject would not only stay alive, but be looked at in regards to possible punishments for offenders.
During Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals between the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat, Stern was interviewed on the subject when he addressed comments made by Pacers coach, Frank Vogel on the Heat's flopping tendencies. During the course of that interview, Stern stated the obvious on the flopping epidemic in the league, but he took it much further than that. Stern even went as far as to bring an idea back from years ago as he self professed that he would look into fines and possible suspensions for players. Wait.....what?
Look, I'm no more of a fan of the flop than anyone else out there. As a soccer fan, it's annoying the levels that some players take this act to in order to gain an edge. Still, that's all it is - trying to gain a competitive edge.
It's no different than what soccer players do. It's no different than a wide receiver in football running a go route trying to draw a pass interference flag when a corner is with him step for step. Players do this all the time, and let's leave the obvious argument of subjective calls on flopping out for a moment. With the majority of rules that deal with such an issue being instituted, there is always that gray area.
So how do you fix flopping? It goes to the only people on the court during the game not wearing jerseys. Officials need to take charge more on determining flops and doing one simple thing- if you see a flop, don't call it. Period. That way, you take away the advantage which is widely considered cheap (and rightfully so) that players try to gain on their opponents. If you want to eliminate a problem, or lessen it as much as possible, go to the best resource you have.
Money? Do you think that's stopping NFL players from delivering bone crushing hits on running backs in the flat or slot receivers over the middle? The NFL has it wrong. Stern is now putting himself in danger of following a wrong road. Suspensions? If Dirk Nowitzki tries to draw a call in the last game of the season, would he possibly get suspended for the start of the post-season? For flopping? Yes it's cheap, but are we really having to go to extremes to try to solve a problem?
Here is one way Stern can curb flopping. Go to the officials and tell them something to the tune of "If you see a flop, call a foul on the player who flopped." Players will at least think twice when they're already saddled with three fouls starting the third quarter and wanting to stay away from deeper foul trouble in a game.
The bottom line on taking a fall - everybody does it. So Stern's vision of taking it out of the game is more fantasy than reality. It speaks to a problem with officials that they can get worked over by star players. Because who are the biggest offenders? Nowitzki, Manu Ginobili, Lebron James, and mostly stars try to draw calls. The league office would have a fun time if they were ever faced with suspending James for any period of time for a flop.
In conclusion, I would make this point - what is being thought of as warranting fines and possible suspensions in this case is something laughable. Players in every sport try to gain an upper hand, and it usually involves something cheap- drawing a bogus yellow card, a pass interference, or a foul. That's suspension worthy? Hardly. It's an over-reaction by Stern to a problem that does exist, but offers a much more simple solution without having to deal with players possibly missing a game for possible gray areas.
The amount of scenarios Stern has just opened with this suggestion are wild. He needs to quickly put a lid on it, and realize that if he really wants to fix flopping, he needs to take a much different route than possibly causing a rift between himself and the players again.
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