Reporting Mark Seidel
For years people who don’t care for soccer cited it’s lack of excitement and players acting as if they had been shot whenever touched as the main reasons for their discontent of the sport. Well basketball fans…your sport is in the cross hairs of “The Great Flopping Debate”. Flopping has always been a part of the game of basketball, just not to the extent that it is now. LeBron James, David West and Lance Stephenson have all been fined $5,000 for flopping during game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. According to Darren Rovell the $5,000 fine for James is equivalent to the average American getting fined $12.10…$12.10 I say again. That’ll teach him.
There are two sides to the flopping debate. Some say if you can gain a competitive edge by drawing a foul on someone it’s gamesmanship. Some say just play the game and the rest will sort itself out. I am on the latter side of the fence. As someone who has watched teams over my lifetime, such as Duke, turn the “flop” into an art form (only joking Blue Devil fans…kinda) it has become a joke to me. I watch as 6’8 250 lb. (here’s to you Mr. James) men get run over by Nate Robinson as if he was a locomotive. That is not the way Dr. James Naismith intended this game to be played. As I write this blog my girlfriend asked what I was writing about and I said flopping…her response “Isn’t that like a b!tch move, like the boy who cried wolf?”, so there’s that.
Many a debate has been waged over how to overcome the epidemic. The NBA implemented a system of fines this year to try and combat flopping. Any player who flops during the regular-season is first warned, followed by fines in increments of $5,000 for each successive flop. The fine for a fifth flop call is $30,000 and warrants the possibility of a suspension. The way I look at it if a player is called for a flop, he should be fined. It should be a technical foul, and the opposing team should get a free throw and we move on. That way you hurt the pockets of the player, kind of, and the team. Thus, coaches may be more inclined to not teach their players to flop. Two birds, one stone. If a player is deemed to be a habitual flopper- every 5 flop calls per season- that player should be suspended for a game, not “the possibility” of a game. I’ve watched Chris Paul completely and 100% feign being hit in the face. Not even a hint of contact and he hit the floor like Little Mac from Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. (If you don’t get that reference…well, sorry.) That’s laughable to have that notion even run through your head. Why would you act as if someone hit you in the face when you know for a fact they didn’t. With all the cameras, you know you aren’t getting away with it. You know you’re going to get clowned.
Long story short, man up fellas. You are professional athletes right?