Thursday, May 29, 2008

The "F" Word

As I'm sure you already know, the NBA has announced that it will be imposing fines for "flopping" next season. Its unclear how large the fines will be or whether or not there will be increased fines for serial floppers. Needless to say, the Spurs jokes have come out of the woodwork.

I must admit, I have mixed emotions about the league's approach to this. I, even though a Spurs fan, can't stand the flopping. It runs completely counter to my aesthetic preference for tough, physical play. But I just don't believe fines are the appropriate response to this league-wide epidemic (because let's be honest, people like to pick on the Spurs for this but everybody does it).

Its an in-game problem and I think it needs an in-game solution. I personally would have preferred they make it a technical foul to flop egregiously. I'm pretty much basing this off of Soccer's use of the yellow card to punish over-the-top flops. I understand that flops may be hard for referees to correctly identify during a game. Even more of a problem is correctly distinguishing between "selling a foul" which most people seem to think is just playing savvy basketball and "flopping" which most people seem to think is cheap. I'm not sure I have a good answer for how to solve that issue but the league said it would impose fines via a team of arena observers and video reviewers, which could at least ensure a technical would be given to the player even if the opposing team didn't receive a foul shot. Post-game technicals would still carry weight because the accumulation of technical fouls leads to an automatic suspension.

I'm glad the league is dealing with this, but I think its taking the wrong route. Either way, Now seems like as good a time as any to take a look back at some of the best flops from recent years.

First, to Oak-town, where Boom Dizzle knows how to take a dive:

Next, to the city of more moms, where Andrei Kirilenko puts some effort into it:

At least one of Raja Bell's many theatrical masterpieces has to make it onto any "greatest flops" list:

You didn't think I'd forget the master, did you?

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