LeBron James and the Miami Heat Called out for Flops vs. Mavs by Jeff Van Gundy

Darrell HorwitzSenior Writer IIJune 8, 2011

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 07:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat wipes his face with his jersey against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center on June 7, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami Heat's 86-83 loss to the Dallas Mavericks could be considered a flop for those Heat fans who expected them to walk all over Dallas and win this series in five, but that's not the flop I'm talking about.

I'm speaking of LeBron James and his habit of acting like he was fouled when he wasn't, or to use the correct basketball phrase—flopping.

He did it again on Tuesday, fooling the refs into calling a foul on Brendan Haywood, followed by a technical on Mavs coach Rick Carlisle for correctly arguing the call.

I say again because this is becoming a regular occurrence for a player who many are calling the best player in the game today and one of the best ever.

Is that how someone bestowed that title should be acting? Let me repeat—acting.

He's not the only one either.

Dwyane Wade used his acting skills at the end of Game 2 when he shot a desperation 45-footer at the buzzer hoping to draw a whistle. He fell to the ground like he was assaulted, but there's not going to be a foul called on that kind of shot at the end of a finals game.

That's not his first gig as an actor either, and in a supporting role, have you noticed how often Chris Bosh flops lately no matter how lightly he might be touched on a play, if he even is?

Shouldn't the Heat—with three of the top players in the league—try to win with their basketball skills instead of their acting skills?

Don't they already get every call? Do they have to lower themselves to "cheating" to win games?

LeBron pulled a similar move on Derrick Rose in Game 5 against the Bulls, falling to the court when Rose swiped at the ball in his hand and drawing a foul. The replays showed that Rose only hit the ball and never came close to touching him.

For good measure, he then winked at the camera after the play.

Former coach and current analyst Jeff Van Gundy was incensed at the actions of James. He mentioned it on the broadcast last night, and on a local sports radio station in Chicago Wednesday morning.

"Those type of plays to me are starting to make parts of our game a farce. It's infuriating when you get a technical and you're right."

Van Gundy went on to say the league should do something about it. He suggested Commissioner David Stern hire him and his brother Stan as discipline consultants.

He said, "I want there to be a severe penalty so that every time I go back on the film as the dean of discipline and I watch every play and possession, those flagrant acts of acting, I am hammering."

You can see the outright disgust on LeBron and Wade's faces when they actually do get a foul called against them—like they can't believe the referee had the audacity to call one.

The officials always seem to coddle superstars, and the Heat get coddled more than anyone.

It's ironic that the Heat are playing the Mavericks in this series. Going back to the last time they played each other in the finals in 2006, many observers thought the only reason Miami won was because Wade got every call.

He shot 97 free throws in that series in six games, an average of 17 per game. In Game 5 alone he attempted 25 free throws, the same amount as the entire Maverick team.

As for LeBron, it seems like he should be working on his game rather than his acting.

He scored only eight points Tuesday night, and none in the fourth quarter. In the last three games of the series, he has scored four points total in the fourth quarter. 

You can't deny he's a great player, but great players take the lead role when the game is on the line, and LeBron has been nowhere to be found.

If he doesn't step up, he will be crying for real soon while Dirk Nowitzki is cradling the trophy.

Perhaps he should have taken his "talents" to Hollywood instead of South Beach.

Maybe if the Heat don't win the title they can win an Academy Award, because I wouldn't want all that good acting to go to waste.


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