This week, LeBron James said that, while he doesn’t see anything wrong with flopping, he himself doesn’t need to flop. You know—because he’s LeBron James.
Unfortunately, people who like to watch basketball tend to have working eyeballs, so we all know that LeBron is quite an avid flopper. And now the NBA has come out and said as much, too, by fining King James $5,000 for his floppery.
Of course, this is all part of the NBA’s gallant effort to stamp out the scourge of flopping from the game. During the regular season, players got one warning—i.e., one flop, on the house—before getting fined $5K. Now, during the playoffs, the league has done away with the freebies. Any player who flops now gets a fine straight off, with penalties increasing for subsequent violations.
Is all this working? Well, not yet. The average NBA player makes almost $63,000 per game, so the fines are going to have to get a little steeper to make ’em feel it. But it’s certainly a nice PR move on the NBA’s part, and is does help draw attention to the embarrassing flopping phenomenon.
In any case, today, in honor His Royal Majesty getting hit with a $5,000 fine for LeFlopping, we’re going to take a look at every single one of the flops that drew fines from the league this year. They were not the only offenses and they certainly were not the worst offensives, but they did get the most attention. Check ’em out.
The Brooklyn Nets' Reggie Evans drew a foul on the Lakers' Metta World Peace back on November 20 with an obvious flop. And since he had already received his flop warning, this one cost him $5,000.
Of course, Evans is lucky a $5K fine is all he got. We all know how Metta World Peace sometimes loses his cool.
12. Reggie Evans (Nets)
The second player to receive a bill of $5,000 from the NBA this year was Reggie Evans' teammate, Gerald Wallace. This costly flop came against the Heat on December 5 and, ironically enough, the play in question involved LeBron James. Take a look at it, and note how the referee is standing right in front of Wallace and James with a clear, totally unobstructed view.
That's just embarrassing.
11. Gerald Wallace (Nets)
On January 14, the Minnesota's J.J. Barea was able to draw a foul against Dallas with a flop, despite the fact that he was only two feet away from the referee at the time. That was his second offense of the year, so it earned him a fine. However, Barea really got his comeuppance later against the Heat, when Ray Allen flopped and drew a foul that got Barea kicked out of the game.
That's called basketball karma.
10. J.J. Barea (Timberwolves)
The fourth fine handed out for flopping this year went to Oklahoma City's Kevin Martin, and man did he earn it. This one was definitely a candidate for "Most Ridiculous Flop of the Year," given the fact that Denver's Andre Miller was about a foot away from Martin at the time of the supposed foul, and the fact that Miller's hands weren't even in the air. I mean, come on, Martin, get a grip.
9. Kevin Martin (Thunder)
The fifth and final flopping fine of the regular season was handed out to Omer Asik of the Rockets for his tomfoolery on March 24 against the Spurs. This flop wasn't even close to being one of the year's worst, as there was at least some actual contact between Asik and Tim Duncan on the play. However, I guess the league figured that, having already given the guy a warning, they might as well make an easy $5,000.
8. Omer Asik (Rockets)
Alright, now we've reached the playoffs, where the league has dispensed with the warnings and just started handing out fines for flops...or at least some flops. The first guy to get one? That would be Jeff Pendergraph of the Pacers. During Game 5 of their first round series against the Hawks, Pendergraph basically decided it would be easier to flop than actually try to defend the basket. Fortunately this nonsense didn't work on the refs, and it the NBA later sent him a bill...for about 27% of his salary that day.
7. Jeff Pendergraph (Pacers)
The second playoff flopper to get fined was OKC's Derek Fisher. Interestingly, his offense came on a play that involved two other guys that had previously been fined for flopping.
You see, during Game 5 of the Thunder's opening series against the Rockets, Fisher and his teammate Kevin Martin bumped into Houston's Omar Asik. And while the contact probably was enough to knock Martin off his feet, it definitely was not enough to knock Fisher down.
The result? A lovely synchronized flop...and a $5,000 fine.
6. Derek Fisher (Thunder)
This playoff flop from Game 1 of the second round series between the Knicks and Pecers definitely deserved a fine. I mean, from the referees perspective it was pretty convincing. But from the front, and in slow-motion...just silly.
Of course, should we really be surprised to see this kind of thing from J.R. Smith? The guy is a clown.
5. J.R. Smith (Knicks)
We told you all about this ridiculous flop last week. During Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals between the Grizzlies and Spurs, Tony Allen tried to make a regular old foul by Manu Ginobili look like a vicious flagrant foul by throwing in some somersaults and soccer-style writhing after the fact.
He may not get an Oscar for his efforts, but he did receive recognition from the league in the form of -$5,000 reward!
4. Tony Allen (Grizzlies)
Indiana's Lance Stephenson got hit with a $5,000 fine for his flopping in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Miami this week; however, I'm not entirely sure which flop was the straw that broke the camel's back. Was it (a) his flop after barely brushing against LeBron James, or (b) his his after barely brushing into Ray Allen? You be the judge.
Of course, if David Stern really wanted to be hard ass he would have fined Stephenson twice—one for each offense. But I think we all know David Stern is only a hard ass when it comes to keeping the Lakers from getting Chris Paul.
3. Lance Stephenson (Pacers)
No, you eagle-eyed readers, I did not skip one. We go straight from number three to number one because the final two flop fines issued by the NBA came on the exact same play.
That's right—the elusive double-flop!
Of course, this is the flop by LeBron to which I referred in the intro. What I didn't tell you then was that, while James was busy hitting the deck, Indiana's David West was doing the same.
Now that's some classy basketball! Keep up the good works, guys.
1. The Double Flop: LeBron & David West
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