NBA Fines LeBron James, David West and Lance Stephenson for Game 4 Flop Fest

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2013

He who flopped in Game 4 of the NBA's Eastern Conference finals shall be fined accordingly.

LeBron James, David West and Lance Stephenson are going to pay dearly for their involvement in the flop fest that took place between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, May 28.

Well, not dearly—at least not by NBA standards. The Association has, however, fined each of them $5,000 for violating the league's flopping policy.

When pressed by reporters before Game 5 on whether he was guilty of the fine-inducing infraction, James decided to snag a page out of Drew Rosenhaus' guide to media relations:

The sanction comes down after it was announced the league would also be reviewing the many controversial calls that were made in the latter half of the same game.

For those who may be unaware, the NBA took a page out of the soccer playbook this season and outlawed flopping. Here's how the NBA defines the banned acts: 

"Flopping" is defined as any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player. The primary factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact.

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Not one of the fines from Game 4 is undeserved.

Stephenson is actually fortunate he didn't get fined twice. Indiana's shooting guard exaggerated contact he made with James between whistles, and he also feigned an elbow to the head from Ray Allen while jogging up the floor.

Yeah, those flops were that obvious, but not any more blatant than the other two the league is penalizing.

James and West are being fined for their roles in the same play.

With just over four minutes to play in the fourth quarter, West went to post up on James. The latter threw himself to the floor while the former stumbled backward after incurring the wrath of imaginary contact.

Nothing like a pair of simultaneous, barefaced flops to get the juices flowing in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, eh?

Hopefully, inducing fits of laughter with the ever-so-rare double-flop was worth the $5,000 James and West will be charged. I sure enjoyed it. 

I am wondering, however, if James would consider what he did "flopping." After all, he doesn't flop—ever. He said so himself.

"I don't need to flop," he previously told reporters (via NBA.com). "I play an aggressive game. I don't flop. I've never been one of those guys."

James sang a different tune in the lead-up to Game 4.

"Some guys have been doing it for years, just trying to get an advantage," James said of flopping, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. "Any way you can get an advantage over the opponent to help your team win, so be it."

To clarify, James doesn't flop, but he also flops. 

Sadly, his conflicting concessions both proved false. Not only has the NBA found King James guilty on counts of flopping, but his artificial flummox wasn't even successful—unless his goal was to line the NBA's pockets with an extra 5,000 bones.  

David Stern and friends will gladly take stacks of green from their players, no matter who they are. 

Habitual and self-contradicting floppers beware.


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