Houston’s James Harden became the first player in the NBA fined for flopping this year. It took all of just 7 games for him to get nailed twice (the first time was just a warning by the league, the second flop comes with a $5,000 slap on the wrist).
Harden wants you to know he’s no flopper — and he’s appealing the league’s fine, he told CSNHouston.com’s John Kelly.
“The first one, I really did get hit in the face,” Harden said. “I’m trying to appeal that right now. I really did get hit in the face, it was just a late reaction….
“I don’t want to be known as a flopper or a guy who is looking to get calls, that type of player,” Harden said. “That type of player I’ve never been. It was a bad call.”
Okay, let’s go to the tape.
Unfortunately there is not good video of the first flop Harden refers to, the one he is trying to appeal. Here is the best we could find. Still, it looks like a flop to me — he really sells the contact.
The second one — the one for which he was fined — is a pretty clear-cut flop.
I doubt this appeal works.
And sorry James, but whether you want to or not you’re gaining a reputation as a flopper.
Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.
First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.
Three quick takeaways here:
1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.
2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.
3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.
(Hat tip reddit)
VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”
That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.
Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:
“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”
Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.
And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.