The NBA plans to stop the flop, or at least curtail it.
The league announced Wednesday it will institute an anti-flopping rule this season with progressive fines growing as high as $30,000 before a possible suspension kicks in.
Before you say “Hallelujah!” keep in mind that a player would have to be found guilty of flopping six times to get to that point.
Here is the progression:
First violation: Warning
Second violation: $5,000 fine
Third violation: $10,000 fine
Fourth violation: $15,000 fine
Fifth violation: $30,000 fine
Sixth violation: larger fine or suspension
So a serial flopper such as Anderson Varejao or Shane Battier would accumulate $60,000 in fines before being subjected to a potential suspension.
“Flops have no place in our game – they either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call,” NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson said in a statement.
“Accordingly, both the Board of Governors and the Competition Committee felt strongly that any player who the league determines, following video review, to have committed a flop should – after a warning – be given an automatic penalty,” he added.
UPDATE: In an email, NBA PR maven Tim Frank tells us that video review will be conducted by the league office after the fact, unlike the new rules on flagrant fouls. Frank also said referees are not required to include these instances in their postgame reports but can if they so choose.
UPDATED UPDATE: Colleague Ken Berger at CBS Sports has union chief Billy Hunter saying it will file a grievance and an unfair labor practice charge against the NBA. ”The NBA is not permitted to unilaterally impose new economic discipline … without first bargaining with the union,” Hunter told Berger.
For the sake of the rulebook, flopping will be classified as “any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player. The primary factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact.”
The release said the NBA will delineate between flops and “legitimate basketball plays” such as moving into position to try and draw an offensive foul.
The NBA also plans separate (read: steeper) penalties for flopping in the postseason, which Varejao shouldn’t have to worry about.