I've lived through the Bill Laimbeer era, the Dennis Rodman era, the Vlade Divac era, the Derek Fisher era, and now the Manu Ginobili era. Ergo I've witnessed the evolution of the flop
from "gritty hustle play" to "a crime against humanity that should be punished by a brutal and public castration." And no, I really don't think I'm overreacting.
Don't get me wrong. Flops have always been infuriating, especially in the playoffs, where they can (and do) alter the outcome of a pivotal game. But until last year, I had more or less just chalked it up to "gamesmanship" (or, as Wilt called it, gamesmanshit
). Then one night during a Heat/Suns game, I watched Steve Nash run into Shaq and send The Big Pastry cartwheeling into the front row.
Now, according to his official NBA.com bio, Steve weighs 195 pounds (and I assume this means "soaking wet and carrying a bag of rocks"). Shaq, on the other hand, is listed as a robust 325 pounds (and I assume this means "with only one foot resting lightly on the scale"). I'm no expert in physics, but I don't need a giant, pulsating brain to tell me that shouldn't be possible. What made it particularly ironic (and shameful) is how often (and loudly) Shaq has complained about the flop-ternity
of defenders he's been dealing with over the years. And yet there he was, the biggest and strongest guy in the NBA, getting launched into the crowd by one of the smallest.
That's when I knew something had to change. I immediately called my buddies (i.e., Statbuster) and began bitching about how the refs should start doling out technical fouls on the obvious flops. Well, a story I read today confirmed my suspicion that David Stern has secretly bugged my house and hangs on my every word, because it looks like the league is finally going to crack down on flops
[NBA executive vice president for basketball operations Stu Jackson] said the NBA is considering whether to allow its officials to impose technical fouls for flopping, which FIBA, the governing body of international basketball, allows its referees to do. Other sports, such as hockey and soccer, also allow referees to penalize players who flop.
No timetable has been given as to when the new rule may or may not come about. My guess is that there won't be any changes until next season.Famous Fights:
Since I couldn't find any really good pictures or videos of flopping, here's one of the best sissy fights in NBA history...Greg Ostertag versus Zydrunas Ilgauskas.