February 25, 2012; Orlando FL, USA; NBA commissioner David Stern addresses the media at the Amway Center in Orlando. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Flops on Flopping Rule


After watching the situation get out of control, it was only a matter of time before NBA commissioner David Stern attempted to do something about the contagious and outrageous flopping that has watered down the NBA product over the past few years.

But while Stern should be given credit for recognizing and attempting to deal with the problem, when he stepped in to do something about it, he did exactly what every NBA defender has done as of late – Stern flopped.

He not only flopped, he did it in a big way.

On the surface Stern will have you think that he’s doing something about the flopping problem that’s running rampant in the NBA, but his new rules, what New York Knicks’ fans should dub the LeBron James Rule, do very little to address the problem of flopping in the NBA.

The league announced on Wednesday a new anti-flopping policy that starts with a warning and steps up to some major money. During the regular season, the steps will be warning for the first violation, $5,000 fine for the second, $10,000 fine for third, $15,000 fine for the fourth and $30,000 fine for the fifth violation.

The NBA Players’ Association is not happy with the ruling, nor should they be. But while both sides argue about the potential of losing money, they should realize that Stern missed the boat altogether when it comes to taking flopping out of the game.

The current rules do nothing to prevent flopping during game action. With the average NBA salary at close to $2 million and more and more superstars making in the $15-$20 million range, does Stern really think a $10k or even a $30k fine is going to get the message across?

No, the LeBron James Rule is completely flawed.

Stern had the opportunity to step in and really do something to clean the game up and he’s the one who flopped.

The NHL has a rule for embellishing and the NBA could have done so as well.

There’s still nothing in the game to prevent guys from flopping. Do you really think that with the game on the line that players won’t still flop to get calls? They won’t be worried about fines one bit.

Instead, Stern could have taken the opportunity to really do something to take flopping out of the game.

How about awarding free throws to the other team? How about awarding a personal foul every time a defender flops? How about allowing the officiating crew to check the monitor to determine whether or not a defender flops and calling the foul accordingly?

Those are more proactive solutions to get rid of the flopping problem in the NBA. Hitting someone with a $10k fine may sound like a lot, but it’s not and Stern is still allowing flopping to impact the direct results of games, which is a problem.

Whether the players want to admit it or not, flopping is a problem in the  NBA, especially when you have stars such as James, Manu Ginobili, Anderson Varejao and others that spend more time impersonating actors than they do playing basketball.

No, the LeBron James Rule is a waste of time as it will accomplish nothing to clean up the NBA product.

At the end of the day, Stern had the chance to step up and do something, but instead of playing good defense and making a point, he flopped just like everyone else.

Tags: David Stern LeBron James NBA New York Knicks

  • Scott Davis

    I don’t have a problem with the new rule. However, it will take some time for it to make a mark and really set in. Once guys get fined three or four times, then they’ll stop, but that could take months. There’s also some ambivalence regarding the extremity of the flop and whether someone faked getting hit, or if they got hit and just sold it even more

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  • Durendal Veillantif

    What Chandler did to LBJ is a great way to give someone a spinal cord injury. Whiplash would be the term here, but in bad cases of whiplash there can be lifelong weakness resulting.

  • Guest

    You don’t fine the players, you fine the referees for the missed calls (and train them stringently not to react to flops). With their own dollars on the line, the refs will stop making the bogus calls. If no calls are being made, players stop flopping. No need to slow the game down even more with free throws or more (!) instant replays.

    Refs need to be trained to make fewer calls, not more. The proposed changes just give the highly-paid players another advantage–they can afford to flop more easily. And as the writer points out, this does nothing to stop in-game flops. Does nothing to remedy the bogus foul calls. Does nothing to remedy the unfair changes of possession or points on the board that occur as the result of missed calls by the officials. This is a referee problem, not a player problem.

    Stern and Jackson are not offering solutions, they’re just making the problem worse.