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League mulls options to deter flopping

Chuck - Red's Army June 19, 2012 Around the NBA 9 Comments

David Stern and the league’s competition committee (which includes Doc Rivers) are mulling ways to deter flopping:

The NBA commissioner believes too many players are deceiving referees into calling fouls by falling down, or flopping. So he and the league’s newly reformed competition committee met Monday for a discussion about how it can be prevented.

One option, Stern said, is a “postgame analysis” in which a player could be penalized if it was determined he flopped. The league retroactively upgrades or downgrades flagrant fouls after review, and along those lines he said that perhaps a player could receive a message from New York saying: “Greetings from the league office. You have been assigned flopper status.”

“No, I’m joking, but something like that,” Stern said. “That sort of lets people know that it’s not enough to say ‘it’s all part of the game.’ “

It’s not fair to expect game officials to call fouls for flopping. They can’t master the current set of rules. I could see it working if the league permitted use of instant replay, but do we really want to slow down the game for flopping replays?

This “postgame analysis” Stern speaks of could work, if the penalty is severe. Forget fines. You need suspensions. Accumulate three flopping penalties and get suspended for one game. Each subsequent flopping penalty would also garner a one game suspension. This sounds drastic, but it’s the only way to clean up the game.

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  • andrew

    if this 3 strikes and suspension policy went into effect i dont see the league ever letting its prince miss any games

  • http://www.mercerjersey.com Dave (@mercerjersey)

    Gotta agree with Andrew — and I feel like the controversies surrounding the league’s “flopping” judgments would end up making the current controversies about officiating look small.

    Instead of building up a whole penal infrastructure around flopping to inevitably put more of a focus on that… theatrical aspect of the game, I think the committee should work on ways to tweak rules/educate refs to minimize the impact of flopping. Specifically, I think like… 70% of the charge/block fouls that get whistles right now should be no-calls.

  • Aaron

    It’s also time that the NBA added a couple refs to each game. Maybe stationary on the baseline. Too many incorrect charge/blocking calls, too many missed fouls (*cough* Rondo was hit in the head *cough*), etc.

    The game is too fast, and there is far too much going on for the refs to take it all in. Baseline refs can focus on the post, the outside refs can focus on the perimeter.

    The number of calls would rise, and the game would slow down, which would be bad. But we’re at a crisis point with officiating in this league, where the refs are always the story (whether it’s warranted or not). It goes beyond flopping, and the league can’t ignore it much longer.

  • screaming jay

    What Stern suggests could work in other ways…along the lines of “the boy who called wolf.”

    A player gets reviewed, and initially garners the label ‘flopper’ and is warned.

    Same player continues to flop and then gets and upgraded label “serious flopper.” At this point the refs only call the most egregious offensive fouls in favor of this player.

    Next up for this player, he still doesn’t seem to get it, continues to flop and gets labeled “serial flopper.” At this point the refs will totally ignore when offensive players crash into him, making him a detriment to his team’s success.

    This would all have to happen “un-officially” by the refs, so it probably wouldn’t work in the end. Why did I bother writing this…

  • andrew

    just another thing to add. i think it was j van gundy that brought this up, but refs or the leagues office should examine tape after games.

    he suggested that players be able to receive ‘credit.’ he brought this up after chalmers fouled someone taking a jumper (a clear and obvious foul) yet moved away from the ref in disgust and tried to argue his case. in this instance, chalmers’ credit would ‘lowered’ because he tried to argue an obvious foul.

    alternately, players that argue fouls that were no calls but should have resulted in a whistle would get some ‘credit’

    similarly…
    plays that are determined flops where the flopper didnt get a call yet argued his case or even just flops that received calls should be scrutinized. players that flop (regardless of getting the call or not) will be given less and less ‘benefit of the doubt’ where players that take legitimate charges but get called for blocking would get more.

    sorry if the wording here is a little confusing :)

  • http://www.mercerjersey.com Dave (@mercerjersey)

    I definitely agree with adding an extra ref, and I love the “credit” idea, just as a tool for the refs to use behind the scenes (falling under “ref education”). JVG is great — and he only flops around when it’s completely warranted (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoTTCeLhLDA).

  • thebantam

    As much as I’d love it, I just can’t believe it. The prima donnas would start complaining that the league isn’t protecting it’s stars.

    On that note, did anyone see Westbrook blow by LBJ for at least 1 or 2 layups? I’m completely calloused hearing about his otherworldly defense. Bullcrap. He may have the size and talent but I see him giving the lane way more often than not.

  • Nick Sannicandro

    see…fining millionaires a few thousand dollars is like taking pennies out of my paycheck…I won’t lose much sleep over it. The NBA has to take a more serious (realistic) step than what I’m reading in some of the comments. The issue is always going to be present because even with a “flopping” system we are still going to sit here and monday morning quarterback as to whether he should have been penalized for the flop. I LOVE the idea of adding another ref at the baselines, I think that those refs should be given the power of over-riding any original call as they will have the best angles on the play, I think having that power will make a BIG difference

  • Noori

    Why not set it up so that if it is reviewed after a game that you had in fact flopped. You start the next game with a foul. Or if you flopped twice you start with two fouls etc.