SH Blog: NBA players react to new anti-flop rule, Barkley says LeBron could be better than Jordan

One day after the NBA implemented a new anti-flop rule to penalize players with fines for flopping, there were plenty of reactions around the league, from happy campers to those that weren’t quite sure if it was the best of ideas. See what was said around the league about the change along with other news around the league on Thursday:

  • Blake Griffin thinks the flopping rule is a great way for the league to make money on, from Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports: “The NBA announced Wednesday it will fine players for repeated acts of flopping, and at least one player says it’s no more than the league’s brass trying to get paid. “It’s not going to win or lose games for anybody. It’s a good way for the NBA to get more money,” Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin said… “I guess it’s good in a sense that it stops any of it from happening,” Griffin said after the Clippers’ open practice and scrimmage at the Galen Center on Wednesday. “But now you’re telling me if it’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals and a guy has a chance to make a play he’s going to be like, ‘Well, do I want this $10,000 or do I want a championship?’ “
  • Nicolas Batum, Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler all chimed in on the rule change, from Howard Beck of The New York Times: “It’s going to clean up the game a little bit,” Nicolas Batum of the Portland Trail Blazers told The Oregonian. “Everybody flops sometimes, and if this cleans up the game, that’s great.” The Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire called the crackdown “a great thing,” adding, “It takes out some of the acting on the court.” His teammate Tyson Chandler said, “There are a lot of guys in the league that are in trouble.”
  • Luis Scola and Jared Dudley shared their thoughts on the new rules on flopping, from Vince Marotta of Arizona Sports: “The players themselves will have to adjust, including newly-acquired forward Luis Scola, who developed a bit of a reputation as a flopper in his days with the Houston Rockets. “It’s a good weapon defensively for me and it has been very productive in order for me to be good on defense,” he said. “I will try to see if I can continue to do it and then if the rules don’t allow it, I will find some other way.” Suns swingman Jared Dudley seemed to be on board with the new regulations, claiming he “doesn’t flop that much.” But the veteran does have a plan of action if he’s fined. “If I lose money, I’m calling (NBAPA executive director) Billy Hunter straight up,” Dudley said. “But you know what, if LeBron (James) and Kobe (Bryant) don’t get fined the most, it’s riduculous, because out of everyone, even the Ginobili types, they have the ball in their hands 30-40 times a game and they flop all the time.”
Joe John son on the #NBA's new flopping rule: "It’s messing up the game, man. So I’m glad they put it in, honestly." #Nets
@rodboone
Rod Boone
  • Mark Cuban isn’t so sure about whether the rule change will make the game better, from Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas: “Cuban is uncertain whether the fine system will improve the on-court product. “It depends on whether or not it changes how flopping in game is called,” Cuban replied in an email from Berlin, where the Mavericks are playing an exhibition game this weekend. “If it just causes the refs to give floppers the benefit of the doubt knowing the league can deal with it after the fact, it could have some unintended consequences. “A big question is going to be how much depth of explanation is going to be given when a fine is [assessed] and whether or not the league will enforce teams paying the fines for the players who get caught flopping.”
  • Metta World Peace feels sorry for those that flop, according to Kevin Ding of The Orange County Register: “Even to Metta World Peace, whose tirade against flopping (exaggerating contact in an attempt to draw a foul on an opponent) included a dismissive description of guys who simulated being “hit by a shotgun,” it wasn’t so clear that the NBA’s newly announced directive was the best way to stop it. “For the players that do flop, I feel bad,” World Peace said Wednesday.”
  • Is it really a good idea to implement an anti-flop rule? Shaun Powell of Sports on Earth has three reasons on why the rule itself may flop. Here is one: “The league is coming at these criminals armed with straws and spitballs. A fifth violation — fifth! – is worth a whopping $30,000. Plus, the league stopped short of guaranteeing suspensions. Already, the players’ union is in a snit over the potential for fines, calling the rule a “vague and arbitrary over-reaction” and an “over-reach,” and says it will file a grievance and unfair labor practices charge over the rule.”
  • Brook Lopez and Avery Johnson responded to Shaq, who said Lopez is better than Dwight Howard on Wednesday. Based on Johnson’s comments, it’s safe to say that he doesn’t agree, from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York: “That’s definitely a huge compliment from one of the most dominant big men of all-time,” Lopez Thursday. “So it’s a great compliment. I definitely think Dwight’s a great center … Bynum as well is one of the best centers in the league. They’re all great challenges for me.” Said Nets coach Avery Johnson: “I think it’s great. Brook is a skilled center. There are very few centers in this league that can do what he can do on the floor — especially offensively. He can pass; he can score inside; he’s got a good jumpshot; he runs the break. “I think for Brook to take that next step, there has to be more of a defensive presence in the paint, he has to increase his rebound attempt percentage; hard foul when he needs to hard foul; and then at the end of games — when we go to him against mismatches — to get us buckets and if not make the correct pass. “But I understand what Shaq is saying. Brook is a very talented player. We are hoping it all comes together this year, but it’s not gonna come together by him trying to do it on his own.”
  • The Knicks are still looking to acquire the services of Josh Howard, according to Jared Zwerling of ESPN: “According to a source close to free agent Josh Howard, the Knicks are still interested in the 32-year-old swingman and have had recent conversations with his representatives. The Knicks first inquired about Howard last month, but if they’re serious about adding him now, they’ll have to cut one of their players with a non-guaranteed contract, which applies to training camp only. Currently, the Knicks have 20 training camp invites (including Wallace), which is the maximum amount allowed per team.
  • Deron Williams explained why he and Joe Johnson will not have chemistry issues, from Stefan Bondy of Daily News: “There are only so many shots to go around, after all, especially with another productive scorer at center in Brook Lopez. But Williams proved his unselfishness during five-plus seasons in Utah, where he was a pick-and-roll point guard who turned Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur into All-Stars. Last season in New Jersey was an aberration, he said, because dominating the ball “was the only chance we had to win.”…“Everybody talks about we both need the ball in our hands,” Williams said. “But No. 1, in Utah, I didn’t always have the ball in my hands. The system we ran, I’d give it up and get it back at the end of the shot clock. I like coming off screens. So I think we’ll be a great fit.”
  • Andrea Bargnani felt he played his best basketball last season and has shown up to camp 15 pounds heavier and stronger, according to Lori Ewing of The Globe and Mail: “Last year, definitely,” Bargnani said, when asked if last season was the best basketball he’s played. “Not much for the offence because I always play good in the offence, but I was playing very good on defence, that’s why it was the best.” That made his season-ending injury even tougher to take. “It was tough mentally, because I had to sit out and watch my teammates play,” he said. The seven-footer went home to Italy in the off-season and has come back healthy and strong. “Really happy that he’s come into camp in great shape, 15 pounds heavier, stronger but he’s playing at that high level that we saw last year and I’m excited about it,” Casey said.”
  • Rod Thorn declared that the Atlantic Division is the best in the league, from Marc Berman of New York Post: “One of the obstacles will be Rod Thorn’s revamped 76ers, who now have Andrew Bynum at center. Thorn, the ex-Nets president, said he believes the Atlantic will be a beast, and the best. “Oh my goodness, I think the Atlantic Division is the best division in basketball right now,’’ Thorn, the Sixers president, told The Post. “Every team is better. Jersey (Brooklyn) got way better. Even Toronto will be better. I think Boston also got better. Every team in the Atlantic got better, and until someone beats Boston, they should be favored.’”
  • The TNT crew chimed in on the future of LeBron James, and of course, Charles Barkley had some interesting things to say, from Ira Winderman of Sun Sentinel: “I do think he can be better than Michael. I thought I would never compare somebody to Michael Jordan. But this guy, LeBron James, he does everything well. Michael did everything well. LeBron James is just bigger, stronger, faster. That’s the only difference.” Shaq on James’ future: “Unfortunately for LeBron, now that the monkey is off his back, he is going to be compared to two people: Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. So now the question is how many championships can he get? We all know he is a competitor.” Miller on James and what to expect from him now that he has a championship: “It’s interesting what winning does, getting that championship and getting that monkey off his back. What’s scary is what lies ahead for him. He’s already won three MVPs. He’s considered by all of us to be the best player on the planet right now. I think his best basketball is yet to come because of that one championship.”
  • Mike Dunlap wants to use Ben Gordon as a closer for the Bobcats, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer: “I don’t want to reinvent him – I want him to come in and make game-winning shots and work back from there. He can carry you sometimes,” coach Mike Dunlap said. Dunlap hasn’t decided whether Gordon, entering his ninth NBA season, will start or come off the bench. But it seems a given he’ll be in the game in the fourth quarter, when the stakes rise and some players’ nerves fray. Gordon feels validated that Dunlap already recognizes him as a closer. When did he first take on that persona? “All the way back to CYO,” said Gordon, referring to youth basketball in New York City. “Making that last shot is something I’ve come to expect.” And if he misses? “Frankly, I don’t even think about missing. It does you no good to dwell on that,” said Gordon, who has averaged 16.5 points over his career. “Facing that risk/reward question is a lot better than just sitting there, and not doing anything to help.”
  • Joakim Noah feels more confident about his offensive game after working with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, from Joe Cowley of Chicago Sun-Times: ‘‘I feel a lot more polished offensively,’’ Noah said. ‘‘I worked with Kareem for a couple of weeks, but just because I worked with Kareem doesn’t mean I’m going to be throwing skyhooks from everywhere. I feel like I learned a lot from him, someone who has an unbelievable knowledge for the game and very interesting guy. ‘‘But you know how it is — you work with him and people think, ‘Oh, he’s going to come back with a skyhook.’ Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. But I’ll tell you what: At 65 years old, though, his skyhook is still nice.’’
  • The New York Knicks will play the Detroit Pistons in London for a regular season game, according to Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York: “Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler will return to London early next year — and this time, they’ll bring their Knicks teammates along for the ride. The NBA announced on Thursday that the Knicks will square off against the Pistons in a regular-season game on Jan. 17 at The O2 arena. It will be a nice treat (and reunion of sorts) for Knicks coach Mike Woodson, who was a Detroit assistant when the Pistons won the championship in 2004.”
  • Avery Bradley hopes to return early from his shoulder injury, from A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE: “I feel great,” said Bradley, who is recovering from surgery on both shoulders and has not yet been cleared for contact. “A lot of working, but I have to continue to get my shoulder stronger.” C’s coach Doc Rivers said it’ll be eight more weeks before he starts to concern himself with Bradley’s return. But Bradley is optimistic he’ll be back sooner.”I’m young and the healing process has been going well,” Bradley said. “I’ve been listening to the doctors. So I definitely think I can be back early.”
  • Chuck Person had some high-praise for Dwight Howard after watching him in person, from Sam Amick of SI: “This week has been a reminder of that reality, as Lakers players and coaches alike have been showering Howard with the sort of praise that is rarely seen at this level. Lakers assistant and 13-year pro Chuck Person has been among that group, having worked with fellow assistant Darvin Ham and Howard recently, and he quickly came to the conclusion that the big man is more than capable of being remembered as one of the greats. “I’ve been teammates with David Robinson, Tim Duncan, obviously Shaq was around, Jermaine O’ Neal, and I worked with [former Lakers center Andrew] Bynum,” Person told SI.com. “But I tell you, he has the best feet combined with explosiveness and power that I’ve ever seen. And I can say that with conviction. “I’m totally shocked by how good his feet are. If you have a big man with feet as good as his, with the power, strength and quickness, you could potentially have a legendary post player.”
  • Check out the latest video from Derrick Rose:

  • And here is a video of Blake Griffin hitting a very long-range shot:

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