As a result, Wall became the first player to violate the NBA's anti-flopping policy in the 2013-14 season.
Per the penalty system that has been in place since last year, he'll get off with just a warning this time. His next acting job will cost him $5,000.
The flop in question was easy to spot. Wall was dribbling the ball in the backcourt with less than three minutes to go in the game, and as he accelerated, he deliberately ran into the side of Pistons forward Kyle Singler.
He flailed his arms, kicked his feet out from underneath his body and sprawled onto the hardwood like a sniper had nailed him from the rafters. Fortunately, the officials weren't fooled by the play, and no foul was called. Here's the video evidence:
There are a number of areas in which Wall falls far short of Chris Paul, the NBA's gold standard for point guard awesomeness. He's not quite as gifted a ball-handler, he could stand to improve his shooting touch and he needs to work on his ability to change speeds.
But as a flopper, we've now got proof that Wall is right on par with the master.
Last season, the NBA penalized 19 players for flopping, a solid step forward in the effort to curb the practice. Per Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated, outgoing commissioner David Stern was encouraged by the progress but generally unconvinced that the policy was going to be enough to put an end to flopping forever:
It isn’t enough. It isn’t enough. You’re not going to cause somebody to stop [flopping] for $5,000 when the average player’s salary is $5.5 million. And anyone that thought that was going to happen was allowing hope to prevail over reason. But you take a step and you begin to see it.
It'd be nice to say that the quick penalty is evidence that the league is taking a firmer stance on flopping this year, perhaps as a nod to Stern's comments. But the truth is that a warning was totally inevitable after Wall's egregious dive. That would have been called just as quickly last year.
So, congratulations to Wall are in order, and condolences are owed to anyone who wagered on Blake Griffin or CP3 as the players most likely to incur the first flopping fine of the season.
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