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NBA Hands Out First Flop Warnings to JJ Barea and Donald Sloan Under New Policy

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NBA Hands Out First Flop Warnings to JJ Barea and Donald Sloan Under New Policy

The NBA has released the names of players busted for flopping, with Minnesota Timberwolves point guard J.J. Barea and Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Donald Sloan making history as the first two offenders.

The news was released on NBA.com, and basketball fans can continue to track future floppers on the league’s official website.

The play in question for Barea came “with 10.04 remaining in the fourth period of the Minnesota vs. Sacramento game (Nov. 2),” and Sloan’s indiscretion occurred “with 5.58 remaining in the fourth period of Cleveland's game vs. Chicago (Nov. 2),” according to NBA.com. 

The league’s new “flop feed” also posts links to videos of the players attempting to simulate fouls.

This new rule is expressly laid out on the league’s website and defines a flop as “an attempt to either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call by exaggerating the effect of contact with an opposing player.” It also explains that a first offense only constitutes a warning, with repeat violations constitution a progressive fine.

The scale is as follows, per NBA.com:

Violation 2: $5,000 fine 
Violation 3: $10,000 fine 
Violation 4: $15,000 fine 
Violation 5: $30,000 fine 

For a sixth (or any subsequent) violation of the rule, the player will be subject to such discipline as the League determines is reasonable under the circumstances, including an increased fine and/or suspension. 

Barea wasted no time this season and was cited for flopping in his team’s season opener. Sloan made it one full game without violating the new rule and was warned for an offense in the Cavaliers’ second contest.

While flopping in the NBA is often complained about, the new rule has been met with criticism. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban voiced his concern and said, via ESPN Dallas’ Tim MacMahon:

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.

The NBA’s website explained its ruling on both Barea and Sloan by saying each player “committed a physical act that was a flop under the League's rule on Flopping.”

As with all new rules, the league will need to monitor both intended and unintended consequences of the new policy and continue to evaluate it going forward. 

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