Berry Tramel


Oklahoma City Thunder: New flopping penalties silly

by Berry Tramel Published: October 5, 2012

The NBA’s new crackdown on flopping is a good idea. With terrible implementation.

Flopping has been an issue for some time in pro basketball. The NBA doesn’t want its game to descend to the theatrics of soccer, where on the highest level players turn thespian, trying to draw penalties that could tilt a game with one call. It’s a noble endeavor, to stop defenders (and some offensive players, too) from trying to fool referees into calling fouls.

But the new policing is poorly executed. The NBA has instituted a series of penalties that all are fine-based.

First offense, as determined by video review in the league office, a warning. Second offense, $5,000. Third offense, $10,000. Fourth offense, $15,000. Fifth offense, $30,000. Six or more could lead to a suspension.

It wasn’t going to work. Fines are not an impediment. Suspensions are the only way to go. First offense, warning. Second offense, sit out a game. Third offense, sit out three games. Hitting players in the pocket book doesn’t work.

And it’s not even going to pass muster, anyway. The NBA players association has said it will file suit, saying the league does not have the power to levy such fines without labor negotiations.

It’s a great get-out-of-jail free card for the NBA. Scrap the new penalties. Apologize to the union. Go straight to the suspensions.

Hit the floppers where it hurts. And that’s not the wallet.



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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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