The NBA Anti-Flopping Initiative: What it must do to be effective


October 3, 2012 by shivusharma

Some may argue that flopping is part of the game, but I disagree. Somewhere along the line players got better at taking charges and drawing offensive fouls. I would guess that this was around the time the restricted area (aka the charge circle) was instituted. This provided players and coaches with a more defined understanding of what constituted an offensive foul and what did not. As the officiating began to allow for less contact and physicality, the rate of fouls probably went up. Players started to realize that refs were quick with the whistle, and they could get foul calls on their opponents if they embellished the smallest amounts of contact.

In my opinion, this type of officiating soiled the quality of basketball that was being played. Acting is not a part of basketball. I don’t want to see James Harden act like he’s been shot every time someone comes near him. It’s disrespectful to the legacy of basketball and deconsecrates the statutes upon which it was built. That is why I am glad that David Stern has taken the initiative to institute some kind of repercussion for players who flop. Now the important thing is to construct these rules so that they can be most effective. They need to take away something of value to the players, in order to deter the flopping epidemic.

Here are some basic principles that I believe the new flopping rule should follow:

  • Incidences of potential flopping should be reviewed by a committee after games – I’m all for penalizing players for their poor acting, but the game can’t stop every time a player flops. It’s much better if a competition committee reviews these instances later, and institutes penalties retroactively. The flow of the game is maintained.
  • Do not be as liberal with fouls calls, even for players with seniority – This one is simple. If refs continue to reward the behavior with fouls, they are essentially conditioning the players to continue flopping/acting. By calling less of fouls and letting the game be more physical, the players will eventually catch on to the changes in officiating and adapt their game accordingly.
  • Do not fine players for their flopping instead penalize them games – I doubt that most of these multi-millionaire NBA players care if they are fined a few thousand for their flopping. It might be worth it to them in the long run. Instead, the NBA should retroactively add technical fouls to a player’s seasonal quota for every flopping incident they discover. If you combine this with the current technical foul quota, players who accumulate a certain number of these penalties will be automatically suspended a certain number of games. This is far more effective than fining them money, because they will be missing opportunities to help their team win games. Ultimately, every player needs to uphold a certain level of responsibility to his teammates. This involves being able to practice, play, and give your 100%. When those criteria cannot be met, that is a truer punishment than simply fining them money.

Hopefully the rules outlining this new anti-flopping amendment will follow these guidelines. I think most of us are tired of this plague, and are looking forward to watching an unhindered and untainted product on the floor. Please comment below with your thoughts and suggestions about the new NBA anti-flopping rule. For your pleasure, I leave you with this.


2 thoughts on “The NBA Anti-Flopping Initiative: What it must do to be effective

  1. ai says:

    great point that the penalty for flopping needs to affect playing time, not just money

    • shivusharma says:

      I am glad you agree. The new system they instituted at least threatens to suspend players, but I thought it should be more aggressive. Hopefully what the NBA ended up deciding on will be effective

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