I wrote previously about the issue of star players complaining in the NBA over non-calls, and the lack of special treatment they believe they deserve. It’s a great blog, I highly recommend that you read it. However, if you haven’t read it, I’ll recap the high notes for you…..the NBA players are bunch of crybabies. Still a huge problem, but I don’t think that is ever going to change. However in recent years there’s another issue with NBA games, players taking queues from European Soccer and falling over when a gust of win flows through the arena.
I’m talking about the constant need for star players hit the ground if they think they’ll get the whistle. To the NBA’s credit (I say sarcastically), they realized there was a problem brewing and “took action”. Back in 2012, the NBA instituted a new policy where they review each game and fine players after the fact if they deemed that a player had “flopped” in order to get a call. They have taken it so serious that in 9 seasons, they’ve fined players a combined 31 times. That’s right, the league has fined players on average 3.5 times per season.
And if the fact they have only applied the “flop” rule 31 times in 9 seasons isn’t laughable enough, this past Friday, the NBA outdid themselves. One of the most chronic offenders Lebron James was fined $5,000 for “flopping”. I don’t know what’s more insane, the fact that the NBA finally called him out for flopping? (Here’s a five minute compilation of strong gusts of wind)
Or the fact the NBA thinks a $5,000 fine is scary to players making millions and millions of dollars each year. Lebron has a Billion Dollar contact with Nike, and the NBA thinks he’s going to stop flopping over $5,000. Any players higher than 10th on depth chart spends more than that at the club when the go to Vegas.
The sad part is, this is one of the times the NBA is actually trying to listen to fans. We’ve all been saying for years that players are flopping left and right, and it’s ruining the game. But even when the NBA and Adam Silver try to do the right thing, they screw it up. If this is an important rule, it needs to be called more than 3.5 times a year. Just think about that number, there are 30 teams playing 82 to games. That means there are over 1200 regular season NBA games, and the NBA believes a flop occurs in less than 5. Not 5%, but 5 games overall over the course of the season. They call traveling more than that, and I’d argue it happens less often.
If you really want to change the behavior on the court for the players, you have to hit them where they hurt….suspend them without pay for games. This would hurt their wallet, and upset their teammates because some of their core talent will have to sit out. 1st offense = 1 game, 2nd offense = 3 games, 3rd offense = 10 games. You’d think this would discourage players for the flopping. Not only does it hurt their bank account, but they’d have to answer to their peers in he locker room.
I appreciate the NBA trying but we need to see a better effort in fixing the game. Fining the leagues star players once when he’s guilty every game doesn’t lead fans to believe you are sincere in correcting the issue. Here’s hoping for changes this season!