Shane Battier would welcome anti-flop regulations, but wants offensive floppers penalized as well

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A lot of NBA fans hate “flopping,” or the practice of a defensive player falling back like he was knocked clean out after an offensive player so much as touches him, with a passion. There has even been talk of passing some rules that would penalize a “flop.” Shane Battier, who is among the league leaders in charges taken, has some thoughts on anti-flop penalties, and they’re not exactly what you think they might be. Hoopidea’s Tom Haberstroh has the story:

You might be surprised to find out Battier’s stance on anti-flop regulation:

He’s all for it.

But there’s one key stipulation: offensive floppers would need to be called, too.

Battier joked that offensive flopping is “the silent killer” of the league. Sure, charge-takers might exaggerate the impact of a collision, but offensive players aren’t exactly innocent either. In Battier’s mind, an anti-flopping measure would need to be implemented on both ends of the floor.

“As long as they have the same penalty against offensive floppers – guys who drive through the lane and throw back their head and flail and cry – then I’d have no problem with it on the defensive end,” Battier said.

Battier singled out long-haired former teammate Luis Scola for using his hair to draw whistles, and he does have a point about “offensive flopping” — it’s become completely ordinary to see players fly back when they get bumped dribbling on the perimeter, jerk their head back in the way Battier described when going to the rim, and shout “and-1!” every time they put up a layup attempt in traffic.

The league has already tried to crack down some on “cheap points” by officially eliminating the “rip move” this off-season, but Battier would apparently be in favor of doing something like fining offensive floppers or making an “offensive flop” a turnover, which would deny the chance for an offensive rebound. Flopping is and always will be extremely hard to regulate, but it’s always fun to see a smart guy like Battier discuss some potential rule changes.

(By the way, my two cents on flopping: if referees were willing to call offensive fouls when a defender has good position, gets run into, and stays on his feet while trying to contest the shot, we might see less guys sliding across the floor when an offensive player’s move to the basket generates a slight breeze. Just a thought.)

Remembering Notre Dame, Laker legend Tommy “the hawk” Hawkins

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Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.

The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.

The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.