Flopping has been a problem for the NBA since Kings’ center Vlade Divac popularized it in the mid-90’s, but it was pretty much ignored until just recently.
Commissioner David Stern finally instituted an anti-flopping measure, with fines being issued to offenders who “attempt to either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call by exaggerating the effect of contact with an opposing player,” per the NBA’s official explanation.
In-game, the call will still be up to the officials, so games can still be won or lost by a player drawing a fake foul, but they’ll do it at their own risk. League officials will look over game tape and determine if a player truly flopped or whether it was legitimate, issuing the following fines based on the number of violations:
- Violaition 1: Warning from the NBA
- Violation 2: $5,000 fine
- Violation 3: $10,000 fine
- Violation 4: $15,000 fine
- Violation 5: $30,000 fine
With those types of salary hits coming into play, fans should definitely see a decrease in flopping. For players who have made a career out of embellishing contact (see: Manu Ginobili, Anderson Varejao, Reggie Evans), it will mean that they have to essentially rework their playing styles.
No one on the Pistons roster is considered a serial flopper, meaning the rule probably won’t affect them as much as others. In just a few months of being a Piston, rookie guard Kim English has shown a knack for taking charges, but none have seemed like punishable flopping offenses.
There are plenty of things that players, fans and team management may disagree about, but flopping surely can’t be one of them. While it’ll likely have an adjustment period, this first measure by the commissioner’s office is a good step towards ridding the NBA of flopping.