Bob Delaney: I think flopping started out with the defender trying to enhance the call or bring attention to the call. It started with offensive fouls and the defender trying to draw attention to the play. Either he throws himself back, blurts something out trying to draw attention.
And then at some point we got to where we are today, where even if the ball’s going out of bounds and two players are going for the ball, one’s flopping, trying to fool the referee. Or, as rebounding’s starting to happen, we’re seeing flopping.
We’re seeing it on the offensive side as well as on the defensive side, and it’s designed to do one thing: It’s designed to fool the referee, which never makes sense to me why someone at the end of a ballgame would be upset with the officiating if, all night long, you’ve been doing things to try to fool the officials and not allow he or she to do their job by what they see.
I’d think that players would want their calling card to be athleticism, not flopping, when we’re talking about their legacies.
It’s obvious that the NBA isn’t happy with it because they came out with the anti-flopping rules. Like all things in the NBA, if players don’t take a level of responsibility and police themselves on it, there’ll be more teeth put to it. And I’m not saying that I know that, but I’ve been involved with this league to have a feel for what will come.
I’ll use this example. If you recall years ago, when any kind of altercation took place on the floor, players would come off the bench. Many times, they’d come off the bench in support of their teammates, not necessarily really wanting to get into a fight.
But that behavior changed through education and awareness, and a rule change was made to raise awareness about the consequences for taking that action. Today, when something happens on the floor, no one comes off the bench. The reason being, they know they may be suspended, or they will be suspended and the fine can be pretty heavy.
So, behavior gets changed either by policing yourself or when restrictions become even tighter.
It’s going to be interesting to see how flopping goes next season because of the attention it’s getting this season, and the NBA has already put the anti-flopping rule into effect. So, it’ll be interesting to see how much more teeth they put behind it. My belief is that they will because it’s not good for the game.
And again, flopping is designed to do one thing and one thing only: fool the referee.