Flop (basketball)

Last updated

In basketball, a flop is an intentional fall or stagger by a player after little or no physical contact by an opposing player in order to draw a personal foul call by an official against the opponent. [1] The move is sometimes called acting, as in "acting as if he was fouled". Because it is inherently designed to deceive the official, flopping is generally considered to be unsportsmanlike. Nonetheless, it is widely practiced and even perfected by many professional players. The player that commits the act is referred to as a flopper.

Contents

Flopping effectively is not easy to do, primarily because drawing contact can sometimes result in the opposite effect—a foul called on the defensive player—when too much contact is drawn or if the player has not positioned himself perfectly. Additionally, even if no foul is called on either player, by falling to the floor, the flopping defensive player will have taken himself out of position to provide any further defensive opposition on the play, thus potentially allowing the offense to score easily. To consistently draw offensive fouls on opponents takes good body control and a great deal of practice.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) added a rule in 1997 to cut down on flopping near the basket, adding a 4-foot (1.22 meter) "dotted line area" around the center of the basket to help prevent flops. Such flops are charged as blocking fouls or no-calls. In the 2012–13 season, the league began fining guilty players.

In the NBA, the penalty for "flopping" is a technical foul if caught in-game, and a fine if caught after the game in video reviews. The technical foul is a non-unsportsmanlike conduct technical foul (one of six fouls a player may be assessed before disqualification; no ejection is possible). In FIBA play, the penalty is a technical foul that counts as one of two towards ejection.

National Federation of State High School Associations basketball rule 10.6.f of 2012–13 specifically defines "faking being fouled", in the judgment of an official, as unsportsmanlike conduct subject to penalty of a technical foul, but in practice this call is exceptionally rare.

NBA

The NBA regulated flopping starting in the 2012–13 season. Any player who flops during the regular season would first be warned, followed by fines in increments of $5,000 for each successive flop during the season. The fines would increase to $30,000 for a fifth offense, when a suspension would also be considered. [2] In the playoffs, players are fined $5,000 for their first flopping offense, $10,000 for a second, $15,000 for a third, and $30,000 for a fourth. Any player who flops five or more times could be suspended. [3]

History

Frank Ramsey, who played on seven championship teams for the Boston Celtics from 1954 to 1965, wrote a cover story in Sports Illustrated in 1963 with writer Frank Deford, where he detailed his flopping technique. [4] [5] Afterwards, Ramsey was reprimanded in a letter by NBA president Walter Kennedy. [5] In the 1970s, Ramsey's coach, Red Auerbach, criticized flopping in one of his "Red on Roundball" segments at halftime during NBA game telecasts. [4]

On May 28, 2008, the NBA announced that it would impose fines on players who show a clear case of flopping and suspensions for repeat offenders. [6] However, the league did not impose any fines, but continued to monitor the situation. [7]

NBA player Rasheed Wallace has been critical of flopping in the league. In a 2008 interview, when he was with the Detroit Pistons, he complained that:

"All that bull[expletive]-ass calls they had out there. With Mike [Callahan] and Kenny [Mauer] -- you've all seen that [expletive]," Wallace said. "You saw them calls. The cats are flopping all over the floor and they're calling that [expletive]. That [expletive] ain't basketball out there. It's all [expletive] entertainment. You all should know that [expletive]. It's all [expletive] entertainment." [6] (redactions in original)

On November 28, 2009, Wallace, by this time with the Boston Celtics, again made sports news wires when he claimed that Hedo Türkoğlu, then with the Toronto Raptors, duped the officials into giving Wallace his fifth technical of the season by flopping: [8]

They've got to know that he's a damn flopper. That's all Turkododo do. Flopping shouldn't get you nowhere. He acts like I shot him. That's not basketball, man. That's not defense. That's garbage, what it is. I'm glad I don't have too much of it left.

Commissioner David Stern has complained about flopping because it is a way to fool the officials, but the league has been unable to find a way to punish it or prevent it. [8] And, although Stern agreed with Wallace in principle, the league fined Wallace $25,000. [9] for the 2008 outburst (because of the obscenities) and $30,000 [10] for the second.

Shaquille O'Neal loathes opponents who resort to flopping. [11] He criticized Dikembe Mutombo, the 2000–2001 Defensive Player of the Year, in the 2001 NBA Finals and Vlade Divac in the 2002 Western Conference finals for their theatrics. [12] [13] O'Neal said he would never exaggerate contact to draw a foul. "I'm a guy with no talent who has gotten this way with hard work." [13] In a 2006 interview in Time , O'Neal said if he were NBA commissioner, he would "Make a guy have to beat a guy--not flop and get calls and be nice to the referees and kiss ass." [14] However, in a matchup against the Orlando Magic on March 3, 2009, O'Neal flopped against center Dwight Howard. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was "very disappointed cause [O'Neal] knows what it's like. Let's stand up and play like men, and I think our guy did that tonight." [15] O'Neal responded, "Flopping is playing like that your whole career. I was trying to take the charge, trying to get a call. It probably was a flop, but flopping is the wrong use of words. Flopping would describe his coaching." [16]

Shortly before the Indiana Pacers were to take on the Miami Heat in the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals, Pacers head coach Frank Vogel criticized his opponents for alleged flopping:

They are the biggest flopping team in the NBA. It'll be very interesting [to see] how the referees officiate the series and how much flopping they reward... Every drive to the basket, they have guys not making a play on the ball, but sliding in front of drivers. Oftentimes they're falling down even before contact is even being made. It'll be interesting to see how the series is officiated. [17]

Vogel was fined $15,000 by the league for these remarks. [18]

In May 2012, Commissioner David Stern reiterated that flopping is a legitimate concern. [19] Fines for flopping were introduced the following season. On November 21, 2012, Brooklyn Nets forward Reggie Evans became the first NBA player to be fined for flopping. After having been warned for a previous offense, the NBA league office identified an instance of flopping on Evans in the Nets' loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on November 20, 2012. Evans was fined $5,000. [20] The rate of violations slowed as the season progressed, an indication that players realized the rule was being enforced. [21] There were 24 violations during that regular season, with five players receiving the $5,000 fine for a second offense. [3]

In the 2013 Eastern Conference semifinals between the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau accused LeBron James of flopping. James vehemently denied the accusation, saying "I don't need to flop. I play an aggressive game but I don't flop. I've never been one of those guys. I don't need to flop. I don't even know how to do it. So it doesn't mean much to me." Thibodeau was fined $35,000 by the league for his comments. Nonetheless, James was seen winking after a flop in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2011. [22] On May 29, 2013 before Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Indiana Pacers, James again denied that he is a flopper, but said that he recognizes flopping as an effective strategy. "Some guys have been [flopping] for years, just trying to get an advantage. Any way you can get an advantage over the opponent to help your team win, so be it," James said. [23]

As of June 14, 2013, eight players had been fined for flopping during the playoffs: Pacers' Jeff Pendergraph, Thunder's Derek Fisher, Knicks' J. R. Smith, Grizzlies' Tony Allen, Heat's LeBron James and Chris Bosh, Pacers' David West and Lance Stephenson. [24] Stern said that the amounts of the fines were insufficient "when the average player's salary is $5.5 million. And anyone who thought that was going to happen was allowing hope to prevail over reason." [25]

On June 7, 2013, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced that he is funding a study on flopping. One of Cuban's companies, Radical Hoops Ltd., has provided $100,000 to have biomechanics experts from Southern Methodist University launch an 18-month study into the forces involved in collisions during basketball plays. The goal is to investigate the possibility of using video or motion capture techniques to distinguish between legitimate collision and flop. [26] [27] The Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki did not believe that flops were a problem if a player was pushed and tried "sell it a little" to get a favorable call from referees. [28]

See also

Related Research Articles

Miami Heat

The Miami Heat are an American professional basketball team based in Miami. The Heat compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The club plays its home games at American Airlines Arena, and has won three NBA championships.

Shaquille ONeal American basketball player and Investor

Shaquille Rashaun "Shaq" O'Neal is an American former professional basketball player who is a sports analyst on the television program Inside the NBA on TNT. He played for six teams over his 19-year career in the National Basketball Association (NBA). O'Neal is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. At 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall and 325 pounds (147 kg), he was one of the tallest and heaviest players ever.

Dwight Howard American basketball player

Dwight David Howard II is an American professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is an NBA champion, eight-time All-Star, eight-time All-NBA Team honoree, five-time All-Defensive Team member, and three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

Rasheed Wallace American basketball player

Rasheed Abdul Wallace is an American former professional basketball player who played 16 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). A native of Philadelphia, Wallace played college basketball at the University of North Carolina before moving on to the NBA in 1995.

Ben Wallace American basketball player

Benjamin Cameron Wallace is an American former professional basketball player and minority owner and president of basketball operations of the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA G League. Playing most of his career in the National Basketball Association, he is often considered to be the best undrafted NBA player ever. A native of Alabama, Wallace attended Cuyahoga Community College and Virginia Union University. In his NBA career, Wallace played with the Washington Bullets/Wizards, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Jermaine ONeal American basketball player

Jermaine O'Neal is an American former professional basketball player. The center–power forward had a successful high school career and declared his eligibility for the 1996 NBA draft straight out of high school. O'Neal, at just 17 years of age, was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 17th overall pick, and played his first professional game at 18. At the time, he was the youngest player to ever play an NBA game.

In basketball, a technical foul is any infraction of the rules penalized as a foul which does not involve physical contact during the course of play between opposing players on the court, or is a foul by a non-player. The most common technical foul is for unsportsmanlike conduct. Technical fouls can be assessed against players, bench personnel, the entire team, or even the crowd. These fouls, and their penalties, are more serious than a personal foul, but not necessarily as serious as a flagrant foul.

Metta Sandiford-Artest American basketball player

Metta Sandiford-Artest is an American former professional basketball player. He was known as Ron Artest before legally changing his name to Metta World Peace in 2011 and later to Metta Sandiford-Artest in May 2020.

The Pacers–Pistons brawl, known colloquially as the "Malice at the Palace", was an altercation that occurred in a National Basketball Association (NBA) game between the Indiana Pacers and the defending champion Detroit Pistons on Friday, November 19, 2004, at The Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The Associated Press (AP) called it "the most infamous brawl in NBA history."

Hack-a-Shaq Basketball strategy of committing intentional fouls against selected opponents who shot free throws poorly to the purpose of lowering opponents scoring

Hack-a-Shaq is a basketball defensive strategy used in the National Basketball Association (NBA), where Dallas Mavericks coach Don Nelson adapted the strategy of committing intentional fouls to the purpose of lowering opponents' scoring. He directed players to commit personal fouls throughout the game against selected opponents who shot free throws poorly.

Stan Van Gundy American basketball coach and analyst

Stanley Alan Van Gundy is an American basketball coach and current head coach for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He served as the head coach and president of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons from 2014 to 2018. From 2003 to 2005, he was the head coach of the Miami Heat but resigned in 2005 mid-season, turning the job over to Pat Riley. Van Gundy then coached the Orlando Magic for five seasons from 2007 to 2012, leading them to the 2009 NBA Finals. He is the brother of former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy.

Andrew Bynum American basketball player

Andrew Bynum is an American former professional basketball player. He played the majority of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After they selected him in the first round of the 2005 NBA draft with the 10th overall pick, the 7-foot-0-inch (2.13 m) center won two NBA championships with the team in 2009 and 2010. He was named an All-Star and selected to the All-NBA team in 2012.

The 2006 NBA Finals was the championship series of the 2005–06 National Basketball Association season. The Miami Heat won the title in six games over the Dallas Mavericks, becoming the third team—after the 1969 Celtics and the 1977 Trail Blazers—to win a championship after trailing 0–2 in the series. Dwyane Wade of the Heat was named Most Valuable Player of the series.

2002 NBA playoffs

The 2002 NBA playoffs were the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2001–02 season. This was the final postseason that held a best-of-5 first-round series; the 2003 NBA Playoffs saw those series expand to a best-of-7 format. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Nets 4 games to 0. Shaquille O'Neal was named NBA Finals MVP for the third straight year.

Joey Crawford American basketball referee (born 1951)

Joseph Crawford is an American retired professional basketball referee who worked in the National Basketball Association (NBA) between 1977 and 2016. Crawford, who wore uniform number 17, was regarded as one of the strictest and most controversial officials in the NBA and developed a reputation for assessing technical fouls against both players and coaches. As of the conclusion of the 2014–15 NBA season, Crawford had worked more playoff (313) and NBA Finals games (50) than any other active referee in the league. He officiated in every NBA Finals series from 1986 to 2015, only missing 2007 due to suspension. In addition to playoff games, Crawford officiated the NBA All-Star Game in 1986, 1992 and 2000.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has faced a multitude of criticisms from sports publications, fans, and its own players.

The 2005–06 Miami Heat season was the 18th National Basketball Association season for the Miami Heat basketball franchise. During the offseason, the Heat acquired Jason Williams and James Posey from the Memphis Grizzlies, and All-Star forward Antoine Walker from the Boston Celtics, while signing free agent All-Star point guard Gary Payton. Early into the season, after a 15–12 start to the year, head coach Stan Van Gundy resigned, citing the desire to spend more time with his family, and Pat Riley resumed coaching the Heat. The Heat went 39–23 the rest of the way, finishing with a 52–30 record, good enough for first place in the Southeast Division and second place in the Eastern Conference overall. Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal were both selected for the 2006 NBA All-Star Game.

Tom Thibodeau

Thomas Joseph Thibodeau Jr. is an American basketball coach who is the head coach for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He served as an assistant coach for the United States men's national basketball team from 2013 to 2016, and helped Team USA win a gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Commissioner of the NBA

The Commissioner of the NBA is the chief executive of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The current commissioner is Adam Silver, who succeeded David Stern on February 1, 2014.

Frank Vogel American basketball coach

Frank Paul Vogel is an American professional basketball coach who is the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has also been the head coach for the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic. Vogel previously served as an assistant coach of the Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics. He coached the Lakers to their 17th championship, and his first, over the Miami Heat in the 2020 NBA Finals.

References

  1. "NBA set to penalize players for flopping". NBA.com. September 27, 2012. Archived from the original on May 20, 2014. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  2. "NBA to crack down on flopping". ESPN.com. October 3, 2012. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012.
  3. 1 2 "NBA to fine players for first flop". ESPN.com. Associated Press. April 18, 2013. Archived from the original on April 22, 2013.
  4. 1 2 "Flopping in the NBA: A History of (Non)violence". grantland.com. May 31, 2013. Archived from the original on June 7, 2013.
  5. 1 2 Ballard, Chris (February 26, 2001). "Frank Ramsey, Celtics Sixth Man". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on June 25, 2013.
  6. 1 2 Stein, Marc (May 29, 2008). "Fines will be imposed for clear cases of flopping". ESPN.com . Retrieved May 30, 2008.
  7. Ziller, Tom (December 29, 2008). "So Much for the NBA's Flop Crackdown". aolnews.com. Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  8. 1 2 Associated Press (November 28, 2009). "Wallace: Flopping watering down NBA". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
  9. Pistons' Wallace fined $25K for cursing, criticizing officials
  10. http://www.nesn.com/2009/11/rasheed-wallace-fined-for-calling-hedo-turkoglu-a-flopper.html
  11. Aschburner, Steve (March 10, 2009). "Trading 'Shaqspeare' spreads word in NBA". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 15, 2010. It was a tweak at a guy who abhors and complains about such unmanly theatrics from opponents, and who even admitted as he bristled back that he had, indeed, flopped.
  12. "Lakers hold off Sixers, 96-91". Amarillo Globe-News. Associated Press. June 11, 2001. Archived from the original on November 9, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2010. The 76ers trailed from the second quarter on and missed their one and only chance to tie the game when Allen Iverson could make only one of two free throws with 2:06 left - 15 seconds after O'Neal drew his sixth foul for backing over Dikembe Mutombo.
  13. 1 2 McCallum, Jack (June 3, 2002). "Trading blows and barbs, big men Vlade Divac and Shaquille O'Neal have turned the Western finals into comic opera". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 15, 2010. There was some head-scratching before it was divined that O'Neal meant "cheat" and not something either X-rated or far out, like "covenant" or "coronet."
  14. Gregory, Sean (October 30, 2006). "10 Questions for Shaquille O'Neal". Time. Retrieved October 15, 2010. Make a guy have to beat a guy--not flop and get calls and be nice to the referees and kiss ass.
  15. "Magic's Van Gundy calls out Shaq for flopping". ESPN.com. Associated Press. March 3, 2009. Retrieved October 15, 2010. I was shocked, seriously, shocked," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said of O'Neal's flopping. "And very disappointed cause he knows what it's like. Let's stand up and play like men, and I think our guy did that tonight.
  16. "Shaq rips Van Gundy for flop comment". ESPN.com. Associated Press. March 5, 2009. Retrieved October 15, 2010. "Flopping is playing like that your whole career. I was trying to take the charge, trying to get a call. It probably was a flop, but flopping is the wrong use of words. Flopping would describe his coaching," O'Neal said, steering the conversation back to Van Gundy.
  17. Haberstroh, Tom (May 11, 2012). "Frank Vogel: Heat love to flop". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on July 28, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  18. "Pacers Coach Frank Vogel Fined $15,000 For Comments About Heat Flopping". Sports Illustrated. Time Warner Company. May 12, 2012. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  19. "David Stern eyes flopping flap". ESPN.com. May 14, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  20. Wojnarowski, Adrian. "Source: Nets' Reggie Evans first NBA player to be fined for flopping". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  21. Miller, Stuart (February 14, 2013). "League's Action Reduces Acting". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 17, 2013.
  22. Friedell, Nick (May 13, 2013). "Tom Thibodeau fined $35,000". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  23. Windhorst, Brian (May 29, 2013). "LeBron James sees point to flopping". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  24. Golliver, Ben (June 14, 2013). "Heat's Chris Bosh fined $5,000 for flop in Finals Game 4 against Spurs". SI.com. Archived from the original on June 18, 2013.
  25. Windhorst, Brian (June 6, 2013). "Stern: Flopping fines not enough". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on June 10, 2013.
  26. "Cuban funds flopping study". ESPN.com. June 7, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  27. "Mavericks owner Mark Cuban awards $100K grant to SMU to study flopping in NBA". The Dallas Morning News. June 7, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  28. "Dirk Nowitzki: Flopping has a place". ESPN.com. June 15, 2013. Archived from the original on June 18, 2013.