The NBA is becoming known for its routine rule changes and new restrictions before the start of each season. This year’s addition gives the league permission to fine players for excessive flopping.
In essence, this is going change the way players go about the game — now and for the rest of time. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of one player since 1992 I haven’t seen flop — Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard, Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, Patrick Ewing, Blake Griffin and thousands of others are guilty.
Maybe guilty isn’t the word since flopping was never illegal until now. But if it was a rule, everyone would have paid extra funds to NBA Commissioner David Stern in the past.
Usually, rules such as this are made to 1. clean up the game from outside criticism and 2. to make offense the predominant reason a sport is played because fans want to see points on the board, not defensive stops. On the other hand, there will always be another voice to state another opinion.
This time, it’s the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin.
“It’s not going to win or lose games for anybody. It’s a good way for the NBA to get more money,” Griffin said after a Wednesday scrimmage.
I can see where the Clippers’ star could think the NBA is doing it for money. The amount of the fines — $5,000 for the second flopping offense, $10,000 for the third, $15,000 for the fourth, $30,00 for the fifth — doesn’t seem kind to anyone who might have to shell out the money.
On the other hand, how else does the NBA do away with flopping? Whether players want to hear it or not, flopping has hurt the sport. Athletes such as Ginobili have made a living out of impersonating actors instead of playing basketball. No one knows what a real foul is anymore because half of the NBA is flaring their arms and dropping to the floor every time they’re touched.
I thought basketball was a contact sport, not an acting class.
Plus, the art of designing a rule ( involving a fine or a penalty) to cure a cancer in a sport happens in all leagues on a regular basis — not just the NBA.
Way back in the day, MLB umpires started calling pitchers for balks. Before a balk became illegal, pitchers were using the deceptive fad of starting to throw a pitch to a hitter, but really throwing out the base runner on first, to an unfair advantage. Not only was the base runner wrongfully called out, the hitter was cheated also because he never knew when he was really getting a pitch. They made a rule to give the hitter first upon a balk — which made the game fairer than before.
The NFL has done this plenty of times.
A quarterback used to be able to throw the ball at the ground to avoid a sack. Now, if there is not a receiver in the vicinity of where the QB threw the ball, an intentional grounding foul is called and yardage is lost. No one wants to get hit when they don’t have to, but no one wants to lose yardage in a football game either.
If we want to throw money into the situation, then we have to discuss hard hits. I used to love when a huge linebacker or a quick, powerful safety would blast a wide receiver in the middle of the field. At the same time, I understand why they started fining people because players were suffering concussions at an alarming rate.
Unfortunately for most fans of the NFL (fortunate for the league and it’s players), the fines given by commissioner Roger Goodell have lowered safety risks — cleaned the game up.
I realize players are going to complain because someone always does once change takes place. I remember when point guards went nuts after the hand check was called as a foul. However, if these rules are not made the game isn’t as good as it should be.
I don’t want to watch LeBron James falling on his back after barely getting touched, just so he can draw a foul on Kevin Durant and not allow him to put up a shot. I want to see the closest version of honest basketball we can see. The act of flopping is far from honest and demeans the game of basketball.
Sorry you will have to pay money for flopping Griffin, but if you didn’t do it, your pockets would be safe.