Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vlade is just glad he got out early.

Apparently the NBA is going to start imposing fines on players who clearly flop. The fines will be assessed after games, following a review by some committee of "observers." The details are all a little fuzzy right now. All I can say is that while I'm glad something is being done to cut down on the serious flopping going on in the NBA these days, I don't know if it'll be enough. These men make enough money that a $10,000 fine is pocket change to them. Even to players making "only" around a million a year. Especially if they risk a flop, get the call, and their team wins a game as a result. A little fine isn't going to stop that, is it?

This'll only work if the fines are significant and repeat offenders are punished harshly. The main problem with this is that I doubt it'll be strictly enforced. What we'll see is a lot of flip-flopping (no pun intended) by the league and this committee of observers as to whether or not there was a flop. Most of the chronic floppers are not obvious about it, which is why they do it--because they can and because oftentimes they get the call. A repeat viewing is not necessarily going to make this and open-shut issue. They'll continue to do it, and a review of the action after the game is going to end up as a "we can't tell if it was a flop or not" kind of verdict and life will go on. The only flops that will be regularly fined are the really, really obvious ones while the more irritating, subversive ones that go on all the time will continue.

MLS has been doing better this year in no-calling or yellow-carding a player who obviously flops. In my opinion, flop-calling needs to be a foul-like judgment call by the ref as it happens, and while that may put more of a burden on the refs to make a subjective game even more subjective, it may in the end cut down on flopping because players would be less willing to risk it if it's a heat-of-the-moment call rather than an after-the-fact call. We'll see.

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