DEFINING THE ‘FLOP'
The NBA defines flopping as “any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player. The primary factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact.”
The league determined it would be too difficult for refs to make the call on the floor, preferring instead to leave it to league office reviews.
The NBPA said it will file a grievance with the league office and an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, arguing the players' association should have been consulted first before the NBA implemented fines for flopping.
The NBA has said it is within its rights to levy fines. “Although we haven't seen any filing from the Players Association, our adoption of an anti-flopping rule is fully consistent with our rights and obligations under the collective bargaining agreement and the law,” league spokesman Tim Frank said.
Here are the league's proposed fines:
Violation 1: Warning
Violation 2: $5,000 fine
Violation 3: $10,000 fine
Violation 4: $15,000 fine
Violation 5: $30,000 fine
Note: The league said it will announce a separate set of flopping penalties for the playoffs.
At the beginning of the 2010-11 season, Sports Illustrated asked 152 NBA players who they thought was the league's biggest flopper. Here are the results, with the players who received the most votes (and his team at the time):
1. C Anderson Varejao (Cleveland)
2. G Manu Ginobili (San Antonio)
3. F Luis Scola (Houston)
4. G Derek Fisher (LA Lakers)
5. G Kevin Martin (Houston)
6. F Shane Battier (Memphis)
7. F Jarron Collins (Utah)
8. F Raja Bell (Utah)
9. G Jose Barea (Dallas)
10. F Andres Nocioni (Philadelphia)
Thunder coach Scott Brooks: “I don't think there is a place for it. I think you should play straight up and if the guy makes a better play on you, you should live with that and try to do better the next time. You should not try to flop. It's nothing I thought about as a player, and it's nothing that I teach as a coach.”
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: “It's not good for the game. Nobody likes the flop. A majority of coaches don't like the flop, particularly if you're trying to build a solid defense.”
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant: “I like the rule. Shameless flopping, that's a chump move. We're familiar with it. (Former teammate) Vlade (Divac) kind of pioneered it in that playoff series against Shaq (O'Neal), and it kind of worked for him.”
New York Knicks forward Rasheed Wallace: “Hey, you all thought I was crazy for saying it over the last so-and-so years. I ain't even gonna get into it, but yes. They needed to bend on that.”
Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau: “The game is in a very good place right now. You're always trying to improve it. I think it will be better. The flopping has gotten a little out of hand.”
Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer: “(Lakers center) Dwight (Howard) is going to love that rule. Most of the big men are pretty finesse, but for us powerful guys like myself, Dwight, Zach Randolph, Blake Griffin, guys flop on us. To me, I think it helps our game. It's almost like a bailout. They flop and the possession is over as opposed to playing defense.”
San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner (a vice president of the players' union): “Obviously, flopping isn't a good thing for the game. The question is, how do you police it? Fining seems a bit extreme, to say the least. I don't think it will hold up. If it does, I'm curious what the collateral damage will be. It's too extreme in my opinion.”
San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili: “It's going to be very hard to determine. Many times, it's an exaggeration of contact. That's not a flop. A flop is when there is not contact and not a foul. So we'll see how they explain it and how it works.”
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban: “Other teams flop, we don't. That's just it in a nutshell. That's because we never played any (defense) before. But now we do.”