It looks like the most important thing on NBA commissioner David Stern’s agenda for the offseason is getting rid of flopping. Stern formed a special “competition committee” this year made up of coaches, owners and general managers to make it easier to get new rules and regulations passed. They have a number of items on their plate this summer which include broadening the scope of instant replay, taking a look at the lottery system and changing the rule on off-the-ball fouls, but most importantly: floppers.
“One option, Stern said, is a ‘postgame analysis’ in which a player could be penalized if it was determined he flopped. The league retroactively upgrades or downgrades flagrant fouls after review, and, along those lines, he said that perhaps a player could receive a message from New York saying: ‘Greetings from the league office. You have been assigned flopper status… No, I’m joking, but something like that. That sort of lets people know that it’s not enough to say it’s all part of the game.’”
Even the most dedicated San Antonio Spurs fan has to know that this new rule change is targeting one of their own. Manu Ginobili has built a reputation as one of the league’s most notorious floppers. When they were discussing this issue on ESPN’s Around the Horn yesterday, Tony Reali referred to Manu as the “ace of spades” of flopping. Of course Manu isn’t the only one guilty of doing a little bit of acting, flopping has become almost part of the game these days. It’s starting to look like a soccer field out there sometimes.
No matter what Stern decides, this is going to be tough. Flopping is such a subjective call. Sometimes it’s obvious, but what about when it’s not? The NBA is already a league that gets criticized for sometimes “playing favorites,” think of how bad it could get if the public disagrees with the NBA on who’s flopping and who’s not.
I like the idea in principle, because I don’t think flopping belongs on a basketball court, but the execution definitely won’t go smoothly at first. This may be a long journey to try and eliminate acting from the game, but I guess you have to start somewhere.