The NBA has taken a firm stand on ‘flopping’ in the NBA, dishing out the following punishments per violation:
1st – warning
2nd - $5,000
3rd – $10,000
4th – $15,000
5th – $30,000
6th – suspension
My first thought on this was: sure, but if it’s an elimination game in the playoffs you can bet a guy is going to flop like a fish to save his season.
Then, my second thought was: I wonder what Blake Griffin is thinking.
Well, luckily he has chimed from Clippers training camp in to answer both my questions:
“I guess it’s good in a sense that it stops [flopping] from happening, but at the same time, you’re telling me, it’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals, a guy has a chance to make a play, is he going to be like, “well, do I want this $10,000 [fine] or do I want a championship? It’s one of those things that’s after the fact, and it’s not going to win or lose games for anybody, so you know, it’s a good way for the NBA to get more money.” – Blake Griffin (10/3/12)
Blake is 100% right. But I think the question for him isn’t ‘what will it really change?’…it should be, ‘how will I attack the rim now?’ As beastly as Griffin is physically, he has an issue with contact…he seems to think it’s always more than it is. Replays have repeatedly shown that the flagrant fouls Blake thinks are being leveled upon him are really just routine NBA infractions.
Kobe Bryant also spoke on the new rule this week. At Lakers practice he fully endorsed the FIBA rule for ‘flopping’: “I’d love to see it have an impact on the game itself…I think in international play a technical foul is the penalty for it.” Bryant then took a moment to diss Vlade Divac and his efforts vs. Shaq in the early 2000′s. Right, like the Black Mamba hasn’t tried to sell a call on offense. Defensively, I look for Kobe to get blown by plenty this season. I see him trying to sell an offensive foul at least twice a half.
This new anti-flopping litigation will likely stop a lot of the ‘scrubs’ in the league from trying to foul the refs every night. It may even make Kobe Bryant’s last days in the league a little harder. But for a budding star like Blake Griffin who seems to subconsciously embellish contact…the battle continues.