Whether it’s the fear of losing money or just the fear of being publicly called out, the NBA’s new policy on flopping seems to be working. Last year, players acting in an effort to sway the refs were really getting out of hand. This year, it’s gotten remarkably better.
Of course, you can’t eliminate the flop altogether. The NBA has found 17 flopping violations this season. However, there were seven in the first month of the season, seven in the second, three in January and none last month, so it’s getting even better.
There are only four players who have been repeat offenders. J.J. Barea of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Reggie Evans and Gerald Wallace of the Brooklyn Nets and Kevin Martin from the Oklahoma City Thunder have all been caught twice, and had to pay a $5,000 fine (next offense will be $10,000).
NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson says he feels “the new flopping rule is working well.” He says the fact that there’s a rule in place and the players have seen it enforced is why it’s been so successful.
The rest of the NBA has noticed the effects as well, even if flopping hasn’t been totally eliminated.
"It sounds like it's been quieted, but I still see some flops," said Washington Wizards coach Randy Wittman. "It's not wiped it out. In reality, it's taken it in a good step. It's helped. Hey, they're going to call you out on it and lose (money) … I don't care how much money you make, you lose five grand … it's gotten their attention."
So whether it’s the money or fear of being embarrassed, NBA players are definitely playing a lot more honestly. I’m definitely a fan of the new flopping rules. I had my doubts before the season started on the league’s ability to enforce them, but so far I think they’ve done a great job. Obviously there’s always going to be a little bit of acting, it’s part of the game, but they’ve taken a big step towards making things a lot more fair.
Image: Atlanta Blackstar