NBA sets flopping penalties; players may be fined

Associated Press Modified: October 3, 2012 at 7:50 pm •  Published: October 3, 2012
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Commissioner David Stern has long sought to end flopping, believing it tricks the referees. But 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.

And it says that is within its rights.

"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," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said.

Jackson's department already reviews flagrant foul penalties to determine if they should be upgraded or downgraded.

"I'm all on board for it," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "I think it needs to be addressed. I think the steps they're taking right now, I think will benefit the game. I do. It remains to be seen if it truly has an impact. But I think it's a step in the right direction.

"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."

Rasheed Wallace raged against it for years, picking up quite of a few of his 308 technical fouls for arguing that he was called for a foul because a player flopped. After ending a two-year retirement to join the New York Knicks, he said certain unnamed players were going to be in trouble and agreed penalties needed to be enforced.

"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," he said. "They needed to bend on that."

The blame for the rise in flopping is often aimed at the international players, such as Divac, who came to the NBA after growing up watching soccer, where falling down in hopes of drawing a foul is part of the game. Denver's Danilo Gallinari, an Italian, believes that's unfair.

"I don't know why everybody just talks about European flopping," he said. "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 flops. I don't know."

Cleveland's Anderson Varejao is a renowned flopper, once one of the targets of Wallace's wrath. But he said he's a changed man now.

"I'm not flopping anymore," he said Monday with a smile. "I used to flop a little bit."

The league said it will announce a separate set of flopping penalties for the playoffs at a later date.

___

AP Sports Writers Greg Beacham in Los Angeles, Pat Graham in Denver, Jeff Latzke in Oklahoma City, Tim Reynolds in Miami and Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.

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