Fouling, Cheating, and Flopping: Oils That Grease the NBA

rob caldwellCorrespondent IApril 4, 2008

Thanks to Akoma Rodriguez for the idea. Check out his article "Top Flop: NBA Playoffs Bring Flopping to Center Stage."

Flopping is just too common in every game I watch. Not on my teams, though, they never flop. It’s everybody they play that's creating these problems. Damn all those cheaters on every team but mine.

This problem is big, really big. Innovators like Lambieer, Rodman and Vlade Divac (I cannot believe Akoma didn't mention him) have bred a young generation of talented floppers like Raja Bell, Ginobili, and Cleveland’s entire front line.

It’s not just flopping though. Kobe Bryant (my favorite player) is extremely "good" at getting guys to jump at him before he shoots with a pump, and then jumping so that they collide mid-air, obviously getting him to the line.

That move is so common now that commentators talk about it openly like an admirable skill. I remember Mike "The Czar" Fratello acting confused when a player popping a three moved out of the way of an oncoming air-born defender.

"Creating contact in the lane" is a cliché that refers to making a foul out of nothing. The NBA is just saturated with this stuff.

I think this could be the major reason the NBA has image issues .(Aside from players beating the sh** out of fans, murdering their limo drivers, beating their wives, carrying guns, throwing truck parties, smoking pot, shamelessly tanking, making cameo's in underground movies that advise drug dealers on how fight the man, and Kwame Brown.)

Basically this is the only sport in the world where getting the opponent to do something against the rules is not only accepted, but is a fundamental skill.

Receivers in the NFL don't risk not making a catch to get a pass interference call. Batters in the MLB don't try and trick the pitcher into hitting them. Hockey players don't smack their faces into other players sticks. Golfers don't... golfers don't... uhhh...hmmmm. Slip each other steroids? They don't right? I wouldn't know.

This might be why the college game garners so much more praise and adoration. Those kids still have an amount of innocence left; they don't want to cheat to win.

But the NBA is a game that is centered around plays that are supposed to be illegal. Having a foul to give is a lauded advantage on crucial plays. What does that mean? That you can use something against the rules to your advantage? Not even by doing it subtly, but by blatantly breaking the rules. 

In fact, in doing it in a manner MEANT to be seen, you gain an edge.  That and "inventing" fouls to get to the line or gain possession are skills more used than the pick.

What kind of game is that?

PS: I think I'm going to start linking to this page at the end of every article, relevancy be damned. This really is hilarious. I want you to try to imagine what's going through Zach's mind, and then Isiah's afterwards:



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