Flopping has been a point of emphasis in the NBA this season, with Miami Heat forward/center Chris Bosh as the latest recipient (via Adi Joseph of USA Today) of a $5,000 pocket-change fine for his antics in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.
In an interview with Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News, Nowitzki spoke out against the NBA's hot-topic new rule, suggesting that selling the call is part of the game, and the good players know how to sell a foul call to an official.
He does, however, feel blatant fall-to-the-floor flops should be done away with for good.
Here's a few of Nowitzki's comments about flopping in Sefko's report:
We’re never going to get rid of it...But you got to limit it. It’s part of sports. It’s part of winning. Some people are smart and do a little extra thing to kind of sell the call. To me, that’s part of sports.
You don’t want the obvious ones, the really, really bad ones. I think we’d love to get rid of those. But if somebody really does get shoved or hit a little bit, just to sell it a little for the referees so it does get the call, I don’t have a problem with that. I think that’s part of the game.
Nowitzki, who would likely readily admit to you that his reputation as one of the league's best embellishers on offense is warranted, has used his patented shot-fakes and work at the high post to draw fouls on defenders for years.
And it's worked.
Nowitzki is in the top 25 in NBA all-time scoring and consistently one of the league's hardest players to defend. His ability to earn that extra boost from the official has given him an added edge against even the best of defenders.
He's also learned how to make up for his lack of athleticism in certain spots by selling calls—ESPN's Beckley Mason and Zach Harper gave him a "Flop of the Night" award during the 2012 NBA playoffs.
This isn't the first time the big German has spoke out against flopping, either. In October he called the new enforcements "a bunch of crap" as the Mavs were preparing for their preseason European tour. Sefko also had that report.
Here's a few more of Nowitzki's October comments on flopping. They fall closely in line with his ones from the latest report:
If you play me physical then, obviously, I’ve got to sell the call and get to the [free throw] line. That’s just part of the game. We’ll have to see how they enforce that...I think it’s a bunch of crap to be honest with you. Are they going to come back after a game and fine you for flopping? That’s tough to do to me.
Hey, sometimes they put in new rules, and you look and you say, ‘Hey, this rule really helped our sport'...I’m not really worried about anything. I’m just going to go out there like I always play.
Players have fallen on both sides of the flop line so far this season in the maiden voyage of David Stern's strict stance on theatrics, but Nowitzki is one who appreciates the merit of a good sell-job to the official more than the analysis of game tape to catch flop offenders.