20 April 2008

The solution to flopping

Saturday's Suns/Spurs game should have been a classic. A double-overtime game in the first game of a first-round matchup? Good times in most cases.

However, the game was ruined as it became Flopfest 2008.

We all hate flopping. Players who attempt to manipulate the refs to gain an advantage are poorly seen by fans and opposing players alike. From Vlade Divacs to Bill Laimbeer, from Dirk Nowitzki to Raja Bell, guys who flop are hated.

Saturday's game featured an All-Star cast of floppers.

Nash, Duncan, Thomas, Stoudamire, Bell, Ginobili, Horry, Parker, Oberto.

I've never seen a game with so many "charges."

It got to the point that any time a player drove to the hoop, the three or four players in the vicinity (of either team) would fall to the ground, almost like they couldn't help it.

Now, the Suns are guilty as all get out, but I have to look at the Spurs as the instigator. They took flopping to an art form in last year's second-round matchup against the Suns. For the most part, the Suns did not respond in kind, and ended up losing the series.

This year, I believe the Suns figured, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em," the end result of which is the abomination we witnessed yesterday.

I place the blame for this horrible practice squarely at the feet of European and South American players. These guys spent their childhoods watching and playing soccer, where flopping is an artform. It is so bad, that if you don't flop, there's a slim chance you get the refs to call fouls made against you.

Players like Divacs and Ginobili come to America to play basketball and bring these habits with them. NBA refs are not accustomed to the acting, and frequently fall for these theatrics.

I submit this piece of evidence:

Flopping cheapens the game of basketball and makes it nigh-unwatchable at times.

It's getting so bad that it seems there's hardly a player in the NBA who hasn't flopped at one time or another. And why not? There's absolutely no disincentive for flopping.

What can be done? Obviously the NBA has failed to take any steps to rid the league of this garbage, as Stern is more concerned about dress codes and basketballs made of microfiber.

Here's my idea:

After every game, a team of refs goes over the game tape. If they discover an egregious example of flopping, such as the one above, the instigating player is suspended for one game.

The next time this player is caught flopping, he gets two games, and so on.

The process of determining what is a flop and what is not cannot occur in a live game, for obvious reasons. The game moves too quickly to make that kind of determination on the fly, and no one wants to wait ten minutes while refs watch a replay and make their decision.

But I think it's completely doable to review the tapes after the fact and hand out punishments. The NBA already does this when determining Flagrant-1 and Flagrant-2 fouls.

When I'm the commissioner of the NBA, this is the first practice I will implement.

Then we will see no more of this:

Just sad.

A final note: do a Youtube search for "flopping NBA," and an inordinate number of the search results will feature players wearing silver and black.

I'm just sayin'.


Filbert Karo said...

The Spurs are horrible at acting. That Robert Horry flop was a terrible call for a foul. I agree with Brandon on the flop rule.

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The Village of Randomity said...