LOS ANGELES — This season is the first that the NBA has entered with the realization (at least publicly) that flopping is a problem, and something that neither fans nor players enjoy seeing as a consistent part of the game.
The league has implemented a system where it will first warn, and then fine players for egregious and embellished displays of physical contact, defined as “any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player. The primary factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact.”
In other words, what Reggie Evans can be seen doing here.
Kobe Bryant was asked what he thought about the new rules against flopping, after he posted a triple-double in the Lakers blowout win over the Rockets. Not surprisingly, he is all for it.
“Thank God,” Bryant said. “It doesn’t belong here. We’re grown-ass men, you don’t need to be falling all over the place.”
It was an appropriate question, given this play that went down between Bryant and Houston’s Jeremy Lin midway through the fourth quarter on Sunday.
As for whether or not Lin flopped on the play, Bryant wasn’t sure. But he did seem to think it was possible, given Lin’s smaller stature in relation to his.
“Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. I don’t know,” Bryant said. “He’s too little man … he’s too little for me.”
The Lakers initially called LeBron James day-to-day with the groin injury he suffered on Christmas.
He missed more than five weeks.
Maybe he should have sat even longer.
Karen Joubert, via Complex Sports:
Maybe LeBron returned too soon. This injury allowed that, even if it put him at risk of reaggravation if not fully recovered.
Maybe LeBron just healed especially quickly. Even among world-class athletes, he is an elite athlete.
Maybe Joubert is exaggerating. People tend to do that with LeBron’s body.
There’s plenty of room for interpretation, but it sure looked like LeBron was still hobbled.
What does this mean for LeBron and the Lakers going forward?
The pessimistic spin: LeBron did lasting damage to his body by returning so soon. This (failed) attempt to get the Lakers into the playoffs this season will undermine him in the future.
The optimistic spin: LeBron has still been excellent these last few weeks. If he gets fully healthy during his longest offseason in 14 years, he should be even better next season.
Kyrie Irving spent his first six seasons with the Cavaliers. He developed into a star with them. He won a title with them, even hitting the championship-winning shot.
With Irving’s Celtics playing in Cleveland tomorrow, Irving reflected on his time there.
Jared Weiss of The Athletic:
Irving is so clearly over the Cavs.
He was probably over the Cavs even while playing for them.
The Lakers have had a rough season.
Last night went pretty well, though – especially for one fan.
The Lakers beat the Kings, and this fan swished a halfcourt shot to win $45,000.
The Lakers need more outside shooting. Maybe they could turn to some of their fans.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is undeniable.
Watch this video. He’s the only Bucks player in sight on the court. All five Cavaliers appear. Antetokounmpo dunks anyway.
He dribbles past Jordan Clarkson then through David Nwaba and Tristan Thompson. Nik Stauskas and Brandon Knight are shading close enough to narrow his potential path. None of it matters.
Antetokounmpo scores inside unlike anyone anyone we’ve ever seen.