David Stern’s quest to end flopping includes a committee

Nobody likes a flopper. The whole idea of an NBA athlete 6-6 or taller opting not to block a shot, and instead attempting to stand still and take a charge, is weak in and of itself. Player control fouls are a necessary evil, however, so you can’t exactly eliminate them.

Flopping, on the other hand, does need to be eliminated. I was actually at a recreational summer league game on Monday night where I saw a guy flop late in 2nd half trying to get a call. In a recreational summer league game. I didn’t catch any 10-year old games this past season, but I imagine there are also third graders all over America out there flopping too because they see their favorite NBA players doing the same every night. Especially if they’re die-hard Shane Battier fans.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (L) charges against Miami Heat forward Shane Battier in the second half during Game 3 of the NBA basketball finals in Miami, Florida, June 17, 2012.

Something has to be done, so David Stern is taking the lead. According the AP, he formed a flopping sub-committee and then used Scarlet Letter references as jokes when discussing his stance on flopping.

The NBA commissioner says too many players are deceiving referees into calling fouls by falling down. So he and the league’s newly reformed competition committee met Monday for a discussion about how it can be prevented. 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,” Stern said.

“That sort of lets people know that it’s not enough to say ‘it’s all part of the game.’ “

The committee is made up of coaches Doc Rivers of Boston, Rick Carlisle of Dallas and Lionel Hollins of Memphis; owners Dan Gilbert of Cleveland and Joe Lacob of Golden State; and general managers Bryan Colangelo of Toronto, Sam Presti of Oklahoma City, Mitch Kupchak of the Lakers and Kevin O’Connor of Utah.

“If you continue to do this, you may you have to suffer some consequences,” he said. “What those exactly should be and what the progression is is to be decided, because … we just want to put a stake in the ground that says this is not something that we want to be part of our game, without coming down with a sledgehammer but just doing it in a minimalist way to begin stamping it out. And I think there are ways we can do that and we’ll have to wait and see exactly what we come up with.”

This is a good first step. There has to be some repercussion for flopping, and the best way to attack it is by reviewing video after the game. Flopping is difficult to stop in real-time. These guys are ridiculously good at appearing as if they were shot by cannons. With video, and penalties for blatant flopping though, I think some progress could be made. If Stern made everybody wear a Scarlet F on the their shorts that might help too.

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.