NBA players flop as a way to attract cheap fouls. A proposed rule floating around the league office would instead make the flop a foul in play.
The tactic can be successful, but it doesn’t always work. Online mockery, however, is guaranteed.
Marcus Smart has had a few glaring flops since entering the league and was in postseason form when he opened the season on Oct. 18, 2022, against James Harden of the 76ers. Luckily, Harden wasn’t called for a foul, regardless. He badly missed the wide open three.
Harden has had several flops himself, including in 2019 with the Rockets when he faced the Jazz and, apparently, also a ghost who had his neck around.
His former team honored his legacy two years later when Mason Jones failed in an attempt to get free throws on a missed three-pointer. He was successful at first, but a trainer’s challenge knocked the flop down.
If the rule discussed by the league was in place at the time, Charlotte would have gotten a technical free throw.
A potential downside to the idea is that it would likely lead to more stoppages during games for reviews, and there are enough of those already. Besides, does anyone really want Tony Brothers and Scott Foster to decide what’s a flop and what’s not?
Another idea circulating is that plays be reviewed after the match and a player receives a one-game suspension without pay for every two flops he is charged with.
This could lead to more consistent results in punishments given to the softer floppies in the league.
The league began fining players for flopping in 2012, but the financial penalties are miniscule compared to the money NBA players make.
Maybe a technical free throw or a quicker path to a suspension will be more of a deterrent. Although we can discuss the solution, everyone agrees that the flop is a problem the league needs to address.