San Antonio Spurs fans love Manu Ginobili, and some would even argue that he’s not a flopper, but around the NBA, Manu has a reputation for taking a dive every once in a while. Most of the time it works out for the scrappy Argentinean, getting foul calls that he wouldn’t normally get if he didn’t act a bit, but the NBA wants to put a stop to it.
The league announced on Wednesday that they’re going to start punishing players for flopping, going to a video review system after the game is over. The first offense will be a warning but after that it starts getting expensive. Second offense is a $5,000 fine, $10,000 for the third, $15,000 for the fourth, $30,000 for the fifth and then possible suspension after that. To put this in perspective, players have to get 16 technical fouls before they’re fined $5,000, the penalty after just two flops.
It seems extreme, but it’s a proactive move by the NBA.
"Flops have no place in our game — they either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a call," NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson said in a statement. "Accordingly, both the Board of Governors and the Competition Committee felt strongly that any player who the league determines, following video review, to have committed a flop should — after a warning — be given an automatic penalty."
The NBA Players Association is already planning to fight these new rules, saying that it’s against the collective bargaining agreement and the league shouldn’t just be allowed to institute new rules before negotiating with the players union.
I would imagine the NBA can’t get away with instituting a new rule out of the blue and forcing the players to abide by it. We’ll probably see a few changes before this becomes official. However, it’s clear what the NBA’s stance on flopping is, and they seem determined to make sure acting isn’t a part of the game.