Thursday of last week, prior to game 1 of the Heat vs Pacers series, Pacer coach Frank Vogel said of the Heat, that they were “…the biggest flopping team in the league”. He elaborated further by saying, “Oftentimes, they’re falling down even before contact is even being made.” While those statements may be founded in a certain amount of truth, they also cost him $15,000. The next day, while on the Doug Gottlieb show, Zach Randolph said, “The biggest floppers is the L.A. Clippers…by far.” No word as to whether or not that will cost him anything. I’m fairly certain there will be no fine for me saying that I’ve always felt that Manu Ginobili and the Spurs were the biggest floppers in the game (sorry Hood). It seems everyone has an opinion on what is the latest trend in the NBA. During the Heat/Pacer’s game 1, NBA Commissioner David Stern said, “I think it’s time to look at (flopping) in a more serious way.” Stern added, “It’s not a legitimate play in my judgment. I recognize if there’s contact (you) move a little bit, but some of this is acting. We should give out Oscars rather than MVP trophies.” I couldn’t agree more, but who gets the Oscar? Furthermore, who wants to see it rewarded anymore than it already is. I just wanna watch a game.
I’m not really sure as to when flopping became such a trend. When did it become cool to pretend that you knocked down? This flop phenomenon has become not only acceptable, but celebrated. Growing up, I don’t remember seeing Jordan, Magic, Bird, or Barkley flop. I’m a long time Knicks fan and Ewing was my favorite player of all-time. I’ve been ridiculed more than once about him getting dunked on by everyone in the league, but he challenged people at the rim…he never flopped. The greatest players in the game didn’t flop until recently. At the risk of letting my disdain for the Heat show, I have to point out that LeBron James is probably pound for pound the strongest player in the league, yet he frequently acts as though he’s being thrown around the court. When you’re the greatest player in the game, is it necessary to have this pathetic act in your repertoire? Sadly, he’s not alone. It seems like everyone is doing it. They do it on offense, they do it on defense; coaches praise their players when they do it, and ridicule opposing players that do it to them. It happens in Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and probably even Minnesota. It has become contagious, and like any other contagion, it needs to be stopped.
If you get run over in any other sport you’re considered soft. A catcher gets trucked trying to make a play at home…he might drop the ball and the runner will be rewarded. Let a running back barrel over a line backer, and it’s the running back that is the star of Top 10, not the linebacker. I don’t know enough about hockey or rugby to make a comparison, but I’m pretty sure it’s not cool to get run over. I’ve never played competitively in school (and I’m certainly no pro), but when I do play basketball, I play like a competitor. There is no way I’m letting someone run me over, and I’m definitely not pretending that it happened. At what point did players decide that acting like you got fouled was more important than actually making a play on the ball? David Stern is right- flopping does need to be looked at more seriously. I’m not sure how the NBA can fix this, but I just know I’m tired of all the acting; I’m trying to watch a game.
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