So the NBA has announced that it is taking measures to punish floppers. The intent of this new ban is admirable simply because it's ludicrous to reward those defenders who react to incidental (and sometimes no) contact as though they were run over by Shaquille O'Neal in a race to the dinner table.
Flopping is a phony trick, but it usually works, convincing refs to toot their tooters and decide that the action calls for a charge. Some players, notable Kendrick Perkins, have even decried serial floppers as cowards.
Of course, the all-time champion flopper was Vlade Divac. Except for his uncanny ability to compel the aforementioned Shaq to turn baseline and fling up crooked, line-drive jump shots, flopping was Divac's fail-safe defensive tactic.
If Divac popularized this particular faux defense, today's NBA action features several other full- and part-time practitioners. Namely the likes of Jose Juan Barea, Steve Blake, Brian Cardinal, Brian Cook, Stephen Jackson, James Jones, Kyle Korver, Kevin Love, Mike Miller, Steve Nash, Jameer Nelson, Steve Novak, JJ Redick, Beno Udrih, Anderson Varejao, and a host of others.
Notice that none of those named (except Varejao) are capable of playing acceptable “honest” defense.
So which players will be the most negatively impacted by the new legislation?
Again, none of the above.
That's because the floppers will only be identified by officials reviewing game tapes after the transgressions have already occurred. So the bogus contact will continue to fool the refs who are working the games and will, therefore, have absolutely no effect on the outcomes.
There will be no do-overs or game-time penalties.
Indeed, the new rules will punish floppers by levying after-the-fact fines. But how large can/will these fines be? $100? $500? $1,000?
For players with multi-million dollar contracts, these fines will be nothing more than chump change. And what's a mere $1,000 penalty to a guy whose flop either significantly impacted, or even won a ballgame?
Indeed, the only players who will be pained (and perhaps discouraged from being repeat offenders) by flop-fines will be those playing on non-guaranteed contracts and earning a “lowly” salary in the neighborhood of 900K.
In other words, the new legislation is toothless. A sop to the fans and the media.
The only anti-flopping procedures that will approach effectiveness will be for the game officials to be able (and have the courage) to distinguish flops from legitimate charging fouls – and then to turn flops into illegal blocking calls.
Obviously, though, the NBA powers-that-be don't believe that their officiating staff has the wisdom to make these types of decisions.
Flopping has been, and will continue to be, as much a routine part of the game as are flubbed calls by the three blind mice.