The ball is in your court, Mr. Stern

During Sunday’s Miami Heat – Indiana Pacers playoff game, ESPN interviewed Commissioner David Stern who watched the game from court-side. Stern was asked about Pacers coach Frank Vogel who called the Heat the biggest “floppers” in the league which led to a $15,000 fine.

Stern defended the fine, but expressed his agreement with the underlying policy behind Vogel’s comments. The NBA, and basketball in general, faces a major issue in flopping. Stern labeled it not even a legitimate play.

Amen! Finally, someone in the power structure of a sport admits that flopping is a serious problem which should be eliminated from the game (take cue, soccer; someone please stand up and stop the insanity on the pitch).

Flopping took center stage in one of the NBA’s best first round series between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Clippers. Players such as Chris Paul, Blake “Flake” Griffin, and Reggie Evans continuously flailed their limbs and landed on their asses in the seven game series.

Grizzlies’ forward Zach Randolph called the Clippers the biggest floppers in the league “by far” on the Doug Gottlieb Show on ESPN Radio (see all of his comments in the same link above). Below, you can see one example of Clippers’ superstar Chris Paul falling to the ground with minimal contact after grabbing a rebound. In another video, Reggie Evans of LA’s basketball step-child exaggerates contact after setting a screen.

Sir Flops-a-Lot Paul

And the invisible uppercut to Reggie Evans’ chin

The Clippers are not the only ones. Manu Ginobli of the San Antonio Spurs is well-known for his disgraceful flopping prowess. It’s a league-wide epidemic affecting superstars and role players. It’s out-of-control.

At one point earlier this season in a game between the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks, former NBA coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy embarked on a two minute diatribe against flopping (video below). Van Gundy’s the voice you heard at the end of the Evans’ flop clip above. He’s a well known anti-flopping advocate and an important voice in the war on embellishment.

It’s time to take a hard-line approach on flopping. It cannot be tolerated. Violators should face stiff penalties designed to strongly discourage such action and rid the disease from the game of basketball.

Referees are able to stop flopping by making the requisite calls. However, all potential incidents should be subject to post-game review by the NBA. Offenders should be fined and suspended games. If you want to play, play the right way.

For example, first time offenders, aside from in-game fouls, would be subject to a $10,000 fine and a one game suspension after a post-game review by the NBA. Secondary offenders would be subject to a $25,000 fine and a three game suspension. A player who commits a third offense must pay a $50,000 fine and miss five games. Any further violation should result in a $100,000 fine and a ten game suspension.

David Stern, it’s time for you to set a precedent. Exterminate this nasty disease from the game of basketball. It’s better for the sport, the players, and the fans. You made your feelings public, now it’s time to act on them.

A Comprehensive Plan to Kill Flopping

Because there's never a bad reason to post this photo.

Hello, dear friends. Contrary to popular belief, I have not died… yet. As such, I would like to share a post from friend of the blog Mark Beurger on a topic near and dear to all our hearts… lip-wristed flopping and other chicanery in sports.

Mr. Buerger has, understandably, had it with flopping and all those that support it.

Flopping, diving and overall “gamesmanship” is ruining sports – at every level. The last soccer World Cup (and whether you like soccer or not, the World Cup is the biggest sports event in the world other than maybe the Olympics) was regularly marred by players “simulating fouls” (or diving), and just Saturday, a player in my son’s middle school game (on the opposing team, thank God) threw himself to the ground without contact in an effort to take a charge (maybe in another post I’ll cover how idiotic charge taking is). To their eternal credit, yesterday’s middle school officials didn’t fall for the ruse, but because of the speed of the games compared to the speed of the officials at higher levels, far too often officials are duped and reward this garbage behavior.

 

His argument is that the introduction of acting or “selling the call” is slowly ruining the sports we love. Not only are officials rewarding this behavior, but announcers gleefully wink at the replay as if they’re watching a toddler try to open a can of soup. “Aww… Isn’t that sweet?” No. It’s not.

Buerger goes on to describe his solution to this “acting” epidemic in the 6 steps below:

STEP 1: Broadcast companies immediately instruct on-air personalities to end all positive statements concerning such behavior. Commentators who laugh, chuckle or guffaw at, or who attempt to praise or explain away such acts will be suspended for a week on a first offense, a month for a second, a year for a third and for life for a fourth. Step 1 has the added bonus of ending Reggie Miller’s broadcasting career in less than 14 months. Strict enforcement of this policy will be a condition for winning broadcast rights to any sporting event.

 

STEP 1A: All broadcasters will be required to call out offending players as the pathetic wastes of less than respectable flesh that they are. Mocking should be merciless and last the remainder of the game. Jimmy Dykes will be called in to teach other announcers how to be annoyingly repetitive. Again, strict enforcement of this policy will be required before broadcast rights will be awarded. Surprisingly British soccer announcers are already in compliance with this rule.

 

STEP 3: Go to the monitors. I’m serious. If we could spend an entire season going to the monitors every time DeMarcus Cousins breathed on somebody to see if he had breathed flagrantly, we can put them to use for this as well. If an official suspects that a player went to the ground without contact in order to simulate a foul, then at the next stoppage the official will go to a monitor and check. If it is confirmed that the player was being a pathetic waste of flesh, then he or she will be assessed a technical foul. The fouls will be treated like Flagrant 1 fouls in basketball, or yellow cards in soccer. A second in a single game will result in an ejection. Compile a certain number in a season and you will be suspended for a game.
NOTE: In sports where monitors are not available near the field or where the governing body prefers to pretend it’s still 1932 and no helpful technology exists (I’m looking at you, FIFA), then all questions will be reviewed post-game and all offending players will be suspended from the following contest.)

 

STEP 4: Teammates will no longer be allowed to help up players suspected of flopping. Players who help up a teammate who is charged with a flop will be fined. In scholastic sports, teammates guilty of helping up a flopping teammate will be docked a letter grade in one class per offense, except at Ohio State, where tattoo privileges will just be revoked for one week. Teammates will be encouraged to kick fellow players who are believed to have flopped. Also, teammates and opponents will be allowed to mock a player called for a flop relentlessly throughout the game without fear of a technical foul.

 

STEP 5: In order to end the annoying practice of simulating injuries, a player stretchered off a field must remain strapped to that stretcher for a week, unless an MRI or X-Ray reveals an actual injury. Any player who falls to the ground as if felled by a sniper, grabs a body part and writhes in agony will have that body part ACTUALLY injured if they attempt to come back into a game in that calendar day.

 

STEP 6: From this point forward, ALL pitches will be thrown AT Derek Jeter. Somebody needs to teach him a lesson and we all know he doesn’t move well enough to get out of the way anymore.

Stop by and read the whole post when you get the chance. It’s a good read from a Jerk after our own hearts.