Flopping — that deceiving act of feigning contact — has seen its last days in the NBA. The league is finalizing ways to deal with the trickery designed to fool referees into calling a foul, most likely with fines.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank said the competition committee met two weeks ago and discussed plans that would go in place this season. Commissioner David Stern believes too many players are deceiving referees by flopping and has been seeking a way to properly penalize them.
The procedures likely will involve a postgame review of the play by the league office, rather than an official calling an infraction during the game, Frank said. Players likely would be fined if the league determined they flopped.
The proposed plan mirrors a “postgame analysis” option Stern discussed after the competition committee met in June. The league already retroactively reviews flagrant fouls to determine if they need to be upgraded or downgraded.
“If you continue to do this, you may you have to suffer some consequences,” Stern said about flopping during the NBA Finals. “What those exactly should be and what the progression is, is to be decided, because . . . we just want to put a stake in the ground that says this is not something that we want to be part of our game, without coming down with a sledgehammer but just doing it in a minimalist way to begin stamping it out. And I think there are ways we can do that and we’ll have to wait and see exactly what we come up with.”
The league’s 62-person referee staff is holding its training camp, its first under the leadership of former NBA player and longtime league executive Mike Bantom. Bantom replaced Gen. Ron Johnson as executive vice president of referee operations earlier this month.
“I think one of the things that I’d just like to focus on is I think there’s a perception out there that kind of throws into question sometimes the competence of our officials and even the integrity of them at times, and I think that that’s not true to begin with and unfair, and I want to try and change that perception,” Bantom said.