For the most part, NBA players have been backed the NBA’s new penalties for floppers — plays will be reviewed by the league office and guys will be warned for the first instance and fined after that up to $30,000 for the fifth incident.
Players seem to think maybe this will cut down on flopping where they all think they were victims (but none of them think they actually did it).
Blake Griffin, not so much. He thinks this is pretty much a money grab by the league that may not be much of a deterrent when it matters, he told Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.
“It’s not going to win or lose games for anybody. It’s a good way for the NBA to get more money,” Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin said.
“I guess it’s good in a sense that it stops any of it from happening,” Griffin said after the Clippers’ open practice and scrimmage at the Galen Center on Wednesday. “But now you’re telling me if it’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals and a guy has a chance to make a play he’s going to be like, ‘Well, do I want this $10,000 or do I want a championship?’ “
First, let us pause here to enjoy the irony — Blake Griffin sells calls and flops as much as anyone in the league. In fact, he may have my favorite of all time, the self-flop.
Second, this is not a revenue stream for the league. Money from fines is split between the NBA and the players union then both use all that money exclusively for charitable causes (NBA Cares stuff, for example).
Now, to Griffin’s point it will not work at key moments… probably true.
The new procedure works this way: Potential flops will be tagged by NBA officials who watch games (every minute of every game) and sent to the league office for review. If the league feels a player embellished contact to sell a call (which is going to be a hard line to draw consistently and keep fans happy), then players can be fined. First offense in a season gets you a warning. Second time it is a $5,000 fine. Third time it is $10,000, fourth time $15,000 and if there is a fifth offense in a season the fine is $30,000. (This applies only to the regular season, different playoff flopping rules will come later.)
The NBA players union said it will file a grievance against the league for unilaterally imposing these new player fines without negotiating with them. The union suggested this could go to court. The league says they did discuss the fines with the union (the union just doesn’t feel heard or that there were negotiations) and released this statement.
“Although we haven’t seen any filing from the Players Association, our adoption of an anti-flopping rule is fully consistent with our rights and obligations under the collective bargaining agreement and the law.”
Still, most players seem to accept this as the new reality, that the rules will be in place.
Griffin is spot on about part of it — if even a regular season game is on the line and a player is taking a borderline charge, you can bet he is still going to sell the contact in hopes of drawing the whistle and impacting the outcome of the game. And competitive guys will not blink at risking a fine to do it.
It’s going to be interesting to watch this new rule play out this season, because it is no panacea.