Ben Wallace and the art of the well-timed flop

Beckley Mason of TrueHoop looks at some of the NBA’s most distinguished floppers today. Here’s what I contributed about Ben Wallace and his beautiful sell-jobs to draw loose ball fouls:

Ben Wallace, C: Writes Patrick Hayes of Piston Powered: “Wallace is adept at going for rebounds in heavy traffic, but he also uses that traffic to his advantage. If a shot is missed and he doesn’t have a great angle to get to it, he’s patented a move where he jumps forward and lurches his body while simultaneously letting out a loud “OOOPH,” which over the years has pretty regularly convinced officials he was pushed in the back. Often, video evidence suggests otherwise. Wallace’s artful flopping on rebound attempts has been just another valuable skill he’s brought to the Pistons that doesn’t show up in his stats. Oh, and don’t ever mention to him that he flops … he doesn’t like that.”

Make no mistake … I consider this 100 percent complimentary. I have a few friends who annoyingly don’t like the NBA as much as they like college basketball. When I press them on that, they invariably mention something about ‘flops’ being a part of the game they don’t like. I am a huge fan of a good flop though (this Manu Ginobili-Raja Bell simul-flop is one of the best sports highlights ever). If you are smart enough and savvy enough to be able to create cheap contact and sell officials on the fact that you’ve just been mugged, more power to you. That’s what I’ve always admired about Wallace when he does it — he’s a graceful, mountain of a man, but the hint of contact with an official in sight sends him tumbling. Love that.

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