The NBA has been making an attempt to eradicate flopping from the game, but Dirk Nowitzki said it’s unlikely the league will will be able to get rid of it entirely.
The league this year instituted retroactive fines for players caught embellishing contact in order to draw a foul. It was used sparingly during the year but the playoffs have seen an increase in fines. Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat was the latest to get hit, taking a $5,000 fine for flopping in Game 4 of the NBA finals.
The Dallas Mavericks forward said flopping will always be a part of the game as long as players think it will give them an edge. This echo remarks made earlier in the playoffs by LeBron James, who said he doesn’t flop but understands why others do.
“We’re never going to get rid of it,” Nowitzki said recently, according to The Dallas Morning News. “But you got to limit it. It’s part of sports. It’s part of winning. Some people are smart and do a little extra thing to kind of sell the call. To me, that’s part of sports.”
If NBA commissioner David Stern has anything to do with it, flopping would be gone entirely. He’s spoken out against it, and is asking a league committee to reconsider fines in the offseason. But Stern said any new fines must be balanced and the penalties not draconian.
“It isn’t enough, it isn’t enough,” Stern said in his annual pre-NBA Finals news conference earlier this month. “You’re not going to cause somebody to stop it for $5,000 when the average player’s salary is $5.5 million. And anyone who thought that was going to happen was allowing hope to prevail over reason.”
With one season of flopping fines now past, Stern said he and the league will review data to find out what steps must be taken next. Critics have said a $5,000 fine for flopping — equivalent to about $20 for the average person’s salary — isn’t enough of a deterrent.