The VP of Basketball Operations for the NBA, Stu Jackson, announced recently that the league will adopt an anti-flopping rule beginning in the 2012-13 season. Flopping, which is a relatively new trend spanning over the past decade, has negatively impacted the NBA because it has wiped away the tone of toughness set by players in the 1980s and 90s.
Flopping is an excuse for not being able to handle one’s opponent on the court. Some viewers have confused it with taking a charge, which is when a defensive player has established his position and gets bowled over by the forward-moving offensive player. Flopping is when a player, either offensive or defensive, intentionally falls after barely making contact with an opposing player.
This is certainly the wrong way to play the game.
It is childish to fall down intentionally without actual physical contact and to look for the referees to make a call. Referees are just as much at fault for this trend because they choose to blow the whistle instead of ignoring it.
Old school players would be offended by a rule like this in the modern era.
It is time players are held accountable for flopping and not playing the game properly. Receiving a fine will make floppers think twice about taking a risk that could hurt their income. Some players will continue to do it but the numbers will drop considerably from previous seasons.
Some fans say flopping is a part of the game but if that is true, it is a glaring problem in the structure of basketball today. It’s hard to see how anyone could appreciate flopping because it has absolutely no way of increasing fan support.
A great defensive player doesn’t need to flop to handle his opponent. Take a look at the Detroit Pistons of the late 1980s. They were known as “The Bad Boys” because they played aggressive, physical basketball and were relentless at stopping their opponents from scoring points. They caused Hall of Famers like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan problems on the court
Players such as San Antonio Spurs’ shooting guard Manu Ginobili and Los Angeles Clippers’ power forward Blake Griffin will not be able to perform any more Oscar-worthy flops to help their team win. Griffin should be ashamed of himself for flopping because he is a power forward and there shouldn’t be any big men flopping in the NBA. Former center Vlade Divac is one of the most prolific floppers in the history of basketball. Unfortunately, his success in flopping influenced big men to perform actions like this.
If players like Los Angeles Lakers’ center Dwight Howard or Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant were known as floppers instead of great players, it would hurt the league’s reputation. Upcoming players should want to have a reputation as a solid all around player rather than a flopper.
This new rule can bring back some of the toughness players used to show in the NBA. New rules have changed the game of basketball giving a view of softness instead of tough, intense play. It cannot necessarily bring back the essence of the 80s or 90s but it can influence upcoming players and fans to think differently about how the game should be played.
The NBA is a professional league full of grown men and it’s time the players play like grown men once again.