Over the past decade, the NBA has been hit with an overwhelming epidemic. Players are getting stronger, faster and bigger with every passing generation. Coming with these physical traits, however, is a growing affliction.
The players of today just aren't as tough they were in previous eras.
Gone are the days of Bill Laimbeer and the enforcers of the league. Now, NBA rules and regulations protect players to a point in which scoring the basketball is done at virtual will. From carrying the ball into the lane to the over-exaggeration of fouls, the league has gone soft.
With the latest development of "flopping," it appears as if toughness is no longer a quality of the average NBA player.
For those unaware, the term "flop" is used in reference to when a player utilizes theatrics to sell a foul to a referee. More times than not, there was no contact at all and a player is simply hoping to hear a whistle and force a play to end.
Players such as Manu Ginobili, James Harden, LeBron James and the entire Los Angeles Clippers roster are the commonly referenced culprits.
The truth about a flop is that it is a virtual admission of a player's inability to overcome their opponent on a specific play. While some will refer to it as an attempt to get into the opposition's head, the only thing to be convinced of is that a player finds it too difficult to defend or score on their defender with a natural form of attack.
It's the same reason players slide in to take a charge rather than properly contesting a shot. They simply cannot stop what is coming at them and find a need to end the threat by any subordinate means necessary.
All in favor of flopping will flock to the comments section to defend their stance. All those who enjoy the art of basketball will write them off as meaningless.
Take your side. Commissioner David Stern has certainly found his.
Stern and the NBA cracked down on flopping by creating a new set of rules in reference to those acts of inferiority. There will now be financial penalties for those who violate the regulations, with repeat offenders potentially facing a suspension.
ESPN.com had the report and broke down the process of offenses and repercussions.
Players will get a warning the first time, then be fined $5,000 for a second violation. The fines increase to $10,000 for a third offense, $15,000 for a fourth and $30,000 for the fifth. Six or more could lead to a suspension.
The media, fans and a portion of NBA players have been awaiting the end of flopping for quite some time. The severity for an offense, however, has garnered debate in reference to whether the NBA is walking too thin of a line with these penalties.
The NBA Player's Association is certainly one of the vocal oppositions.
According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the NBPA will not stand by idly as these potential fines are placed into effect. Instead, they will take severe action in their attempt to prevent such financial penalties from having their affect.
NBPA announces it will file grievance and unfair labor practices charge against #NBA over new flopping fines.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) October 3, 2012
The instant response to such a news break is that the NBPA is attempting to protect their players. The truth is, they are displaying a similar level of greed to what they accused the owners of possessing during the lockout of 2011.
While the price of the fines are of a questionable nature, the Player's Association should be just as interested as the owners in cleaning up the league. Ridding the game of flopping should be a prerogative of all involved with the NBA, and those opposed appear none too concerned with the integrity of the sport.
For that reason, fans must draw the line between their allegiance to their favorite players and understand the negative reflection flopping has on basketball. Players will claim that this is a ploy for money, but let's acknowledge the facts.
No money will be changing hands if players simply perform the way they're supposed to. End the greed and return the integrity. If nothing else, do as your idols have always done and show some toughness on the floor.
It's time for the players to prove they belong.