NBA means business with flopping crackdown

Thunder forward Nick Collison says referees can stop the flops by calling the game accordingly.
By John Rohde Published: October 20, 2012
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photo - FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2012, file photo, Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat, left, of Poland, falls backward to the floor as Washington Wizards center JaVale McGee, right, is called for a charge in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Phoenix. The NBA will penalize flopping this season, fining players for repeated violations of an act a league vice president says has "no place in our game." The league said Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, that flopping will be defined as "any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player." (AP Photo/Paul Connors, File) ORG XMIT: NY173
FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2012, file photo, Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat, left, of Poland, falls backward to the floor as Washington Wizards center JaVale McGee, right, is called for a charge in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Phoenix. The NBA will penalize flopping this season, fining players for repeated violations of an act a league vice president says has "no place in our game." The league said Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, that flopping will be defined as "any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player." (AP Photo/Paul Connors, File) ORG XMIT: NY173

Many theorize the embryonic stages of flopping began overseas in professional soccer. The deceptive act eventually oozed its way into international basketball, which resulted in European players being labeled as the biggest culprits in the NBA.

“I don't know why everybody just talks about European flopping,” said Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari, who will play a preseason game against the Thunder at 7 p.m. Sunday in Chesapeake Energy Arena. “I don't know where this thing comes from. We flop as much as other players all around the world flop. I don't know why everybody keeps saying that Europeans are soft or Europeans flop. I don't know.”

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao of Brazil insists he has changed since being voted the league's No. 1 flopper in a player poll conducted by Sports Illustrated two seasons ago.

“I'm not flopping anymore,” Varejao said. “I used to flop a little bit.”

Spurs guard Manu Ginobili finished second to Varejao in the SI poll and routinely has been hailed as the king of floppers.

Unlike Collison, however, Ginobili said he doesn't think the crackdown on flopping will change the way the game is played.

“It's going to be very hard to determine when it's a flop and when it's not,” Ginobili said. “There's a lot of contact, a lot of heavy players, and it can be tricky. I don't think (fining players) is going to happen much.”

Interestingly enough, the first crackdown on flopping came from FIBA — the sport's international governing body — which allows officials to issue an immediate technical foul to a player deemed to flop.

“You look at what they do in Europe, with the technical, that seems more in line,” said San Antonio forward Matt Bonner, a vice president of the players' union. “It's enough of a deterrent to keep guys from flopping. Fining guys I don't think is necessary.”

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Thunder vs. Nuggets

When: 7 p.m. Sunday

Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena

TV: None

Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM

Three things to know

* Thunder guards James Harden and Thabo Sefolosha are expected to return from injuries against the Nuggets.

* This is the fifth of seven scheduled preseason games for the Thunder but the last exhibition inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.

* Russell Westbrook scored 18 points with 12 assists against Phoenix on Friday night in Tulsa.

Projected starters

Thunder (2-2)

Pos.;Player;Ht.;Pts.;Reb.;Ast.

G;Russell Westbrook;6-3;16.0;0.7;6.3

G;Daequan Cook;6-5;5.0;0.0;0.0

F;Kevin Durant;6-9;14.3;2.8;2.8

F;Serge Ibaka;6-10;13.7;8.3;1.0

C;Cole Aldrich;6-11;8.3;8.0;0.5

Nuggets (3-1)

Pos.;Player;Ht.;Pts.;Reb.;Ast.

G;Ty Lawson;5-11;8.0;1.3;5.0

G;Andre Iguodala;6-6;8.5;4.0;3.3

F;Danilo Gallinari;6-10;14.0;4.5;2.8

F;Kenneth Faried;6-8;10.8;6.3;0.3

C;Kosta Koufos;7-0;6.3;9.5;0.3

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