When news came out of the NBA’s referee training Thursday that the league was setting a punishment system up for flopping, the general reaction was “it’s about time.”
And it is — the league should have been fining guys for egregious flops for years. There are guys that deserve the fines, like Reggie Evans in this clip.
But it’s rarely going to be that clean and simple.
It’s also not going to stop players from flopping — it’s about guys trying to gain an advantage by selling a call. Guys may stop trying to sell the extreem examples, but a lot of what fans call flops start with genuine contact. Guys sell it to get a call, but there is real, physical contact at the start of it.
Now you’re going to ask a guy in a suit in New York to judge the level of contact and the intent of a player the next day on video monitors.
Good luck with that.
Flopping is often an eye of the beholder foul, like charge and block calls. You can put up a “flop of the night” video if you want, but many of those can be argued. They almost all start with contact between two big and fast-moving men, and while guys try to sell calls they can come back and show you actual contact and say that their reaction was natural.
And you can be sure that the fans of some of those calls are going to howl when the fines come down.
There are flops that deserve fines. Ones that are so obvious they are laughable. Those are the easy ones.
But where the NBA is going to draw that line is not going to be easy at all.
And as long as players think they can gain an advantage they will continue to sell calls.