NBA won’t flip flop on flopping
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
WASHINGTON — Flopping, the time-honored practice of an athlete falling down or flailing wildly in order to fool a referee official, will be watched closely in the NBA this season — and not just by fans who have expressed their displeasure with the act but also the NBA front-office, which pushed for anti-flopping rules and has now implemented flopping penalties for the 2012-13 season.
There are two factors to consider when watching NBA games in regards to the flop this season:
– It is not the referees’ responsibility to determine if a player flopped or did not flop. Executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson and his staff will determine flopping violations after game using video review.
– The key phrase to remember when deciding if a player flopped or did not is “grossly embellished.” In a video of what constitutes a flop at www.nba.com/official, the narrator describes several flopping examples using language such as: “The level of contact on the play is inconsistent with the grossly embellished fall to the floor.” If the reaction is not “grossly embellished,” a violation is unlikely.
Violators will receive fines: During the regular season, the steps will be warning for the first violation, $5,000 fine for the second, $10,000 fine for third, $15,000 fine for the fourth and $30,000 fine for the fifth violation. Six or more violations and the player will be subject to increased fines and/or a suspension.
Washington Wizards players and coaches met with officials Thursday to review flopping, rules changes and other points of emphasis for players and referees.
“You’ve got to evolve with it,” veteran Wizards forward Brian Cook said. “There’s something new every year. This is my 10th season, and there are little tweaks every year.”
Wizards coach Randy Wittman called the points of emphasis “Basketball 101″ just as Dr. James Naismith intended the game to be played.
Some tweaks are bigger than others, and Naismith didn’t have the benefit of video review.
The National Basketball Players Association said last week it will file a grievance with the league and an unfair labor practice charge with the National … [For more on NBA won't flip flop on flopping, click here.]