It’s the question that never gets answered and never goes away — Why is flopping tolerated in the NBA when it’s almost universally reviled by fans? Obviously, we all hate it when a player does it against our team and he gets a call from it, but I’d like to think that most of us feel at least a touch of shame when one of our own players flops. Is that really how you want the game to be played?
The biggest obstacle to identifying and punishing flops is that they’re usually subjective. How do we really know what’s a flop and what isn’t? In the video at the top of this post, Jeff Van Gundy goes off on a rant on how he believes the NBA condones flopping and how he thinks it would easy to eliminate it from the league. He yells, “I have easy remedies. You fine ‘em, or you treat ‘em like technicals — when you flop ‘X’ amount of times, you’re suspended.”
When broadcast partner Mike Breen points out that it’s hard to tell what’s a flop and what isn’t, Van Gundy responds, “That’s not hard! Technicals are subjective, too!” And he makes a solid point here. Many calls that basketball officials have to make are subjective. Was that a charge or a blocking foul? Did he get all ball or did he hit the arm on that blocking attempt? Could it be the NBA officials don’t want to be burdened with yet another type of subjective decision to make on the court?