Just like postgame fashion last year, flopping has become the most important story of the NBA playoffs. It’s become such a big story, in fact, that one national columnist even suggested that a 3-on-3 game featuring Juwan Howard and James Jones was the best game he’d seen during the entire postseason. That literally happened.
When you hear about flopping so much, it makes you think of all the times you’ve heard about flopping. For me anyways. And while I thought I couldn’t care less about the drama surrounding flopping since it’s something that happens a handful of times per game and usually ends with the flopee being ridiculed on Twitter, everything changed when I accidentally unearted a deep-seated memory that I thought I’d buried a long time ago.
I, Trey Kerby, flopped once. I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s true.
Let’s go back to 1996, when I was just a seventh grader on the B-team for the Plano Middle School Tigers. I was 12 years old and hadn’t hit the growth spurt that would turn me in to the giant I am today. No, I was just a chubby kid who hadn’t even touched the rim yet, which was kind of a bummer since that was the coolest thing in to do back in those days. As you might surmise from the B-team designation, I wasn’t that great at basketball, though I’d like to state for the record that I was probably one of the five best kids on the worse of the two teams in my tiny, tiny middle school.
Being not good, I had to do something to get on the court. And since my dad taught me that defense was important, I started there. But that wasn’t all he taught me. No, my dad also taught me all about taking charges, how they can be better than a block because your team gets possession no matter what, and that it’s easy for anyone to learn because all you have to do is get hit and fall down. And considering I couldn’t jump or run, that seemed like a valuable skill to learn.
So I learned about charges, as much as you can anyhow. Like I said, it’s pretty much just getting hit and falling down. Even back then, charges happened. I don’t know why I’m spending so many words explaining this, but taking a charge is easy. You literally just have to stand there, especially when you’re in seventh grade.
At this point, I should also mention that middle school basketball coaches love it when you take charges. Nothing gets a science teacher more excited than a kid who is willing to get rammed in the chest and hit the deck. It’s like getting an A+ in basketball. Needless to say, I started taking charges.