Sunday Topic: NBA’s Flop Rule Effective?
Every Sunday, HOOPSWORLD’s analysts weigh in on an NBA-related topic. Get in on the debate by leaving your thoughts in the comment section.
Prior to the start of the 2012-13 NBA season, the league announced a new penalty system designed to reduce the amount of flops. Players who blatantly flopped would be warned for the first violation, fined $5,000 for the second, $10,000 for the third, $15,000 for the fourth, $30,000 for the fifth and suspended or forced to pay an increased fine for the sixth.
NBA Commissioner David Stern described flopping as “trickery” and “deceit” during last year’s postseason and wanted to eliminate flops from the game, which brings us to this week’s Sunday Topic:
What do you think of the NBA’s flopping rule and has it been effective?
“I’d argue that the anti-flopping rule has been effective. Despite the fact that the NBA has had to issue only a handful of warnings and fines, the intent of announcing and instituting the policy was to proactively address a problem that had angered and irritated many fans.
The controversy surrounding flopping reached a fever-pitch in the playoffs last season. The postseason is the time of year when NBA ratings are at their highest, and David Stern and company could clearly hear the rumblings from media, fans and broadcasters alike – the flopping had gotten out of control. The league felt the need to address the issue. Going in, everyone was well aware it would be difficult to regulate the rule. Nonetheless, the NBA wanted to make sure that public, and the league’s players, understood they were keenly aware of the potential problem.
Considering the average player’s salary, the fines are minimal, but the principal goal wasn’t to bankrupt the union. The main point Stern wanted to get across was that the commissioner and his lieutenants would be closely monitoring the “flopping” situation. All things considered, based on the first two months of action already in the books, the message has been received loud and clear.” – Tommy Beer
“Two weeks ago, Zaza Pachulia of the Atlanta Hawks received a warning from the NBA for flopping in a game against the Washington Wizards. Pachulia had pretended that he was elbowed by Kevin Seraphin and even let out a yelp, despite the fact that there was no contact on the play. After the NBA issued the warning, Pachulia was asked to comment on the league’s decision. Suddenly, Pachulia’s eyes widened and he looked scared. “I didn’t get fined right? It was just a warning?” After being reassured that money wasn’t coming out of his bank account, Pachulia relaxed and let out a sigh of relief.
This is exactly why the NBA’s flopping rule has been effective. Players don’t like to lose money. It’s the same reason players complained about the dress code, but then didn’t break the rules. So far, nine players have been warned for 11 flops. Gerald Wallace and Reggie Evans are the only repeat offenders and each was fined $5,000. The number of blatant flops is down significantly because players would rather give their thousands of dollars to a cashier at the mall rather than to the league office.
During last year’s playoffs, there was way more flopping. Even if you weren’t watching the playoffs, you could read all about the obvious flops as people flooded Twitter with negative comments during each and every postseason game. The NBA made the right decision to fine floppers and so far the rule has been effective.” – Alex Kennedy
“I don’t see any effect so far, but that’s because big-name players have yet to be embarrassed by the process. When you get a Kobe Bryant or a LeBron James receiving a fine for something that happened in a big game, then we’ll see a change throughout the league.
Instead we’ve had guys like Gerald Wallace and Chauncey Billups falling under the watchful eye of the league, and nobody is going to question their toughness. Fans see Billups taking a charge and they think he’s a gamer – not a cheater.
Plus, a $5,000 fine isn’t going to change anyone’s behavior. Not even a $30,000 fine for a fifth offense is going to deter anyone in this league, which probably why Nets power forward Reggie Evans – who is synonymous with flopping – continues to toe the line.” – Alex Raskin
“The NBA’s new flopping policy was a big story when it was first implemented, but since that time it seems like it’s basically become an afterthought. We’ve seen a couple of warnings and fines, but I’m still not sure if the players are thinking about it very much when they step out on the court.
More than anything, I’m just glad that the NBA finally decided to do something about the issue of flopping and there is protocol in place for when it does become excessive. I’m curious to see if we start talking about it more once games become more important when we get into the postseason.
I like the fact that the penalties in place are not too stiff, but still enough to discourage the act. We could see that change, though, since this is so new and it’ll evolve as they see just how effective it is. Without any statistics to indicate the impact this new policy has had, it’s really hard to say whether it’s been overly effective or not. However, I think it’s safe to say it’s here to stay and that so far it has not had a negative effect on the game.” – Yannis Koutroupis
“There is nothing that takes away from the great NBA game the way the infamous “flop” does. I hated it when the Detroit Pistons made it famous, in large part thanks to Bill Laimbeer, and I hated watching players like Karl Malone and John Stockton work it to perfection.
When Hakeem Olajuwon threw a strong elbow to Malone’s chest, leaned over his prone body and told him, “That’s a foul. Stop cheating!” it instantly became one of my all-time favorite NBA memories.
The NBA’s new anti-flopping rule may be challenging to enforce, but it was a necessary step toward getting this silly part of our game under control. We still see flops, but they are happening with much less frequency, and very often they are borderline plays, not the obvious flailing that has plagued the NBA for years. It was high time the NBA addressed this issue, and so far, so good.” – Bill Ingram
“Players are aware of the flopping rule but few seem to be taking it seriously. Naturally they’ve taken notice of the monetary penalty attached to flopping, but has it stopped?
In the moment, players use their instincts defensively. If that means taking a charge and selling it with a bit of acting, so be it. The goal is to win games and if flopping helps, then flopping it is.
The penalty is after the fact and enforcement is random enough that players are still going to flop until they’re hit significantly in the wallet. So far this season, there hasn’t been enough of a crackdown to make a real difference.
Players lose money for technical fouls but they still rack them up as well (and those cost a free throw). The penalty for flopping, by and large, just isn’t on the mind of mind of a lot of NBA players when they’re sliding into exaggeration position.” – Eric Pincus
Has the NBA’s flopping rule been effective? Leave a comment below.