LOS ANGELES — Chris Paul became the latest player to receive a warning for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules on Tuesday, based on this play that took place during the Clippers’ win over the Timberwolves earlier this week.
But you won’t hear any complaints about it from Doc Rivers.
Speaking before the Clippers faced the Thunder on Wednesday, Rivers said he believes the league is handling the issue correctly, and that it’s even natural to a certain extent for a player to exaggerate the contact that’s made to try to get a call from an official.
“I was the best flopper in the world, so it’s hard for me to ever talk about flopping,” Rivers said. “I just think it’s always going to be a certain part of it. It’s almost natural; when you get hit, you want to sell it.
“I think the NBA is doing it the right way, honestly,” he continued. “It’s not like they’re sending letters every day. If it’s something egregious, they’ll do it. But I think it’s much to do about nothing in the long run, because I don’t think we’ve over-done it. I was worried about that when we first put it in, but I think the NBA’s done a really good job with it.”
Paul’s was far from the worst offense we’ve seen this season, and it was certainly tame by his own standards, given the fact that he’s earned a bit of a reputation in this area over the years.
The NBA’s system of handing out warnings and fines that increase for every repeat occurrence seems to be more of an attempt at publicly shaming the players into changing their behavior, rather than truly punishing these acts. Even a sixth offense in the same season doesn’t guarantee a suspension, and the fines amount to pennies when considering even an average player’s salary.
The problem with flopping is that it can fool the referees into making a call when it wasn’t deserved, and often times that call will result in free throws for the player who flopped successfully. As long as that potential reward outweighs the risk of getting warned or fined, players will continue to try to trick the referees in order to gain that advantage.