NBA: Does the Flopping Rule Not Apply to Big-Name Stars?


November 9, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (21) dribbles the ball against Sacramento Kings power forward Chuck Hayes (42) during the second quarter at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

The flopping rule in the NBA has yet to be taken seriously. Retired Kings’ center Vlade Divac was the master, and was often frowned upon for being as good as he was at this little known art form. Players throughout the history of the game have had to learn how to draw fouls and take charges due to matchup issues. How could players ever have stopped Shaquille O’Neal without some of these defensive rules? Divac was known for frustrating Shaq because of what some called his craftiness and knowledge of the games rules. Some like Divac have drawn criticism for plying so close to these rules.

Tim Duncan, as he does almost every night, “flopped” during what could have been a crucial point of the game for the Kings, leading to DeMarcus Cousins third foul in the first half the game, resulting in Cousins having to sit out the rest of the half. Duncan, like Divac, has become a very intelligent player who knows when he can get away with certain things throughout the course of the game, such as drawing a foul.

At the 4:14 mark of the second quarter, Duncan was “fouled” by DeMarcus Cousins. Duncan fell to the floor as though Cousins had just shoved him to ground with two hands. It was clearly a hand-checking foul, witch is rarely called; but Duncan falls to the floor as if he was shoved by Cousins. Duncan clearly “flopped.”

The NBA has implemented a “flopping” rule for the 2012-13 season; that before any team has played ten games looks to be nothing more than a joke or a facade. The NBA has said it will review all plays and games with questionable calls, or calls that may have been caused by a “flop.” What the NBA failed to mention is that they will not apply this rule to big name stars, and the rule will not be used consistently or fairly. Duncan clearly flops, at the end of this play resulting in a foul call. The play is being replayed on the NBA website in the video entitled: “Spurs vs. Kings.” Duncan clearly falls to the ground and exaggerates the severity of the foul. He should be penalized with a warning as the new rule states, and penalized further if he again is caught “flopping.”

Although I recognize that the likelihood of Duncan being penalized for his “flopping” incident is very slim, it does make me begin to question the integrity of the game. Will the league treat this new “flopping” rule like traveling violations, or like palming the ball, or the three second rule? Kobe and Jordan always took more than two steps when driving to the basket, Shaq stayed in the key for more than three seconds almost regularly throughout his career. Traveling and palming the ball are rarely called penalties that occur almost regularly throughout every basketball game.

Let’s just hope the league takes the necessary actions against Duncan in issuing him a waring for “flopping,” rather than point to a few instances throughout the season. If the NBA fails to act this season, then players and most importantly fans will begin to truly question the legitimacy of the league and its rules and regulations.