We’ve all seen it, usually as plain as day. One NBA player gets close to the chin with an elbow and in true basketball fashion (and instinct) the other player flings his head back. Depending on who you are and what situation you’re in, the fling of the head is usually highly stylized and exaggerated and usually draws a false penalty.
Last year was an epidemic for ‘flopping’ and the NBA is putting it’s foot down, finalizing a deal that will outlaw the practice and penalize a player who tries to sell a flop.
“If you continue to do this, you may you have to suffer some consequences.” Commissioner David Stern said. “What those exactly should be and what the progression is, is to be decided, because … we just want to put a stake in the ground that says this is not something that we want to be part of our game.”
However, in true NBA fashion yet again, the penalty for the flop is a fine which would be handed out at a later date upon review of the play. So if the flop occurs late in a crucial game and free throws are awarded as a result, the outcome of the game will remain the same despite the flop. The only consequence is the player being lighter in the wallet.
The post-game fine is an effort to protect the competence of the NBA referees, rather than actually stop flopping from having an impact in the game. That’s made abundantly clear by the NBA watching it’s own back rather than actually doing something about the issue. But this is David “Jabba the Hutt” Stern we’re talking about, did you really expect rationale?
Stern did mention that the official consequence for flopping is yet to be determined, but it’s believed that a post-game fine system will be put in place starting this season. While it does clean up an issue in the NBA that is a growing problem, and nips it in the behind before it grows like a fungus in the game but the solution, like all those to problems in the NBA, is half-hearted.
If the NBA was truly serious about ending this problem, they’d have an official review of all flops and award free throws accordingly. If a player flops, the other team is awarded free throws. If this type of system was implemented can you imagine how fast these flops would end? But that wouldn’t put money in the pockets of the NBA and therefore it makes little sense to Stern and the league.
The 2011 Lockout showed clearly that priority numbero uno in the NBA is money. And priorities do, tres and quatro is dinero, dinero, and more dinero.
That severely hinders the league’s ability to, ya know, function properly. Flopping is an issue that’s not going anywhere as David Stern doesn’t put on his big goy bully pants unless he’s moving a team to a more profitable market. Until Stern actually becomes his last name problems like this — no matter how big or small– aren’t going to go away.
And the animosity towards Stern will only solidify itself further than it already has.