The NBA has come down hard on the Memphis Grizzlies' Tony Allen, fining him a cool $5,000 for his acting job after Manu Ginobili spilled him to prevent a layup with 26 seconds left in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.
In the immediate aftermath, just about everyone was skeptical about Allen's reaction. The Grizzlies guard practically went into convulsions on the court, grabbing his head and writhing around like he'd been seriously injured.
"FREE BASKETBALL!" brought to you by Tony Allen's School of Acting (TASA). #SpursvGrizzlies— J.E. Skeets (@jeskeets) May 22, 2013
Soccer fans, you know exactly what I'm talking about. All that was missing was some guy running in from the sidelines and spritzing Allen down with a little water bottle.
The play was called a Flagrant 1, so credit Allen for recognizing the currently protective stance the NBA is taking on all hard fouls and selling the contact at a crucial time in the game.
What a great play by TonyAllen. Flagrant fouls are so often called based on the reaction of the player who was fouled. He sold that one.— Steve Kerr (@SteveKerrTNT) May 22, 2013
It's a shame that there are rewards for these kinds of plays nowadays (the Grizzlies got a pair of free throws and the ball, which allowed them to take the game to overtime), but it's also a good thing that the league is retroactively punishing overzealous acting jobs.
Don't worry, though, Allen will probably be able to afford the fine by supplementing his income in Hollywood.
Also, it might not be fair to completely rule out the notion that Allen really did hit his head. Apparently, we've got the NBA equivalent of the Zapruder film, which shows that Allen might have actually hurt himself.
Here's the angle where Tony Allen may have bonked his head, by the way. youtube.com/watch?v=2n4BJR…— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) May 24, 2013
Of course, it's also possible there were some residual effects from something like this:
It seems unlikely, though. And if Allen really did manage to bang his head on the floor after being dragged down by his left arm, that must have been one magic flagrant foul by Ginobili. (That last part was a blatant excuse to link to this video). I will not apologize.
Anyhow, all's well that ends well. The Spurs went on to win the game, negating the advantage Allen gained by flopping, and now the league has penalized the Grizzlies guard. If only the NBA could just get these things right in real time, we'd finally be getting somewhere.