5 Ways the Anti-Flopping Rule Will Help the NBA
Much has been made of the NBA's new no-flopping rules. Some say the players should not be penalized financially for making basketball plays. Other say it is a great new rule by the league to eliminate "fake" defense, to encourage defenders to play honestly and remove the guesswork for NBA officials.
And still others (ahem, Blake Griffin) say the change was made for no other reason than to further line the pockets of the league, as the fines that accompany a flop are hefty, especially after repeated violations (after the third flop, players are fined $25,000).
Griffin also insinuated teams would not win or lose based on flops, which is incorrect. The flopping rule is going to change the NBA just as much as the hand-checking rule did over a decade ago, and we're going to look at five ways it will make NBA basketball more enjoyable—and more honest.
The Game Will Be Sped Up
NBA fans and analysts often complain the whistle is blown far too often, and that it takes away from the flow of the game. This is a valid complaint in games in which teams parade to the free throw line in excess of 40 times, dragging on quarters and games into three hour ordeals without need.
Getting rid of fouls that aren't really fouls will help this.
Flops only initiate one more (needless) whistle, which disrupts the flow of the game. There are less transitions and fast breaks when the game is constantly interrupted by a player feigning to take a hit on his way down the court. Flops happen away from the ball, too, only further complicating the job of the referee to discern which falls are legitimate and which are worthy of Academy Awards.
By removing the element of players flopping every other play, the NBA has ignited a more free-flowing game which will lead to more excitement.
Officials' Jobs Will Be Easier
NBA officials have one of the toughest jobs in professional sports officiating. Their job is thankless, and no matter how well it is done, still scrutinized. Adding the element of having to discern whether a player is actually receiving the contact his body purports only makes this that much more difficult.
Only in the closing minutes are NBA officials heavily reliant upon instant replay, and the real job of evaluating whether or not a player has flopped (and is worthy of being fined) is done by the league's front office anyway.
So, while it is still the job of the referee to determine whether or not a flop is an actual foul, the number of players feigning contact will significantly decrease now that it is affecting their pocket books. The ref should have a lot less guess work now.
The Image of the NBA Will Be Helped
We like to encourage our kids to be honest. Why should sports be any different?
Watching grown men "lie" with their bodies is no different than encouraging lying in any other aspect of life. Fans don't like to see players act their ways into getting whistles, and opposing players hate it even more than the fans.
Players that are most accused of flopping aren't even as popular. What I am saying,\ is that I don't see many Manu Ginobili jerseys being worn around. Do you?
By players being forced into playing honest and true defense, it's going to encourage kids to play the same way. They won't see their favorite player hamming it up to get a whistle, so they'll stop doing it too. The game of basketball will be much more pure without "fake" defense being played at all levels.
The Chance of Cheap Injuries Decreases
It's hard enough to take a charge without sustaining a bruise. That's the reason hustle players are lauded so heavily by fans, and why we love to see a teammate sacrifice his body to pick up a foul and save a possession.
But when players are faking these falls, it only further initiates an awkward sequence that can often lead to injury, either by the flopper himself, or the player who makes inadvertent (or absent) contact with the flopper.
When players aren't tripping up an offensive player by stepping in his way, only to fall to the floor without even being hit, there will be fewer accidents caused by the dishonest "contact" that results from the floppers.
Cutting down on injuries is a positive thing in all sports, needless to say.
The Level of Defense Will Increase
It's often said that "offense wins games, but defense wins championships." But what really wins championships, and pleases fans, is real defense. Players will no longer be as ready to feign taking a charge when fines accompany it.
Perhaps, and just maybe, players will begin sliding their feet on defense and working on the real aspects of defense, rather than allowing themselves to take the easy way out by pretending to take a charge, or falling to the floor when trying to cover a post player that is stronger than them.
Players won't be able to take the easy way out defensively when they are facing a better player, and the game will be improved because of it. What's more annoying, losing a game because the star player was called for charging on a take to the hole, or the fact that he never charged at all?
Who wants to see their favorite team lose because some opponent was audacious enough to flop in the final seconds of a game?