LeBron James insists he’s not a flopper, but the NBA disagrees.
The league announced that it has fined LeBron $5,000 for flopping in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, a play that also brought a fine to an Indiana Pacers player.
James and Pacers forward David West were battling for position in the fourth quarter, when both of them recoiled violently as they made contact. The NBA determined that both James and West were flopping on the play.
The NBA hit another Pacer for flopping. Lance Stephenson also exaggerated contact against Ray Allen in Game 4, earning him a $5,000 fine.
The fine came just days after LeBron insisted that he’s not a flopper, though he does say he understands the strategy of it all.
“Some guys have been doing it for years, just trying to get an advantage,” James said Monday before Tuesday’s Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. “Any way you can get an advantage over the opponent to help your team win, so be it.”
The Pacers flopping fines are also a bit ironic given the team’s public statements against exaggerating contact to get a foul. Pacers coach Frank Vogel was hit with a $15,000 fine by the NBA for complaining about officials allowing Heat players to flop.
“I think it’s well documented. I’m not for flopping,” Vogel said.
LeBron has bristled in the past at charges that he’s a flopper. In the last round of the playoffs, he blasted Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau for accusing him of flopping, saying “I don’t need to flop. I play an aggressive game. I don’t flop. I’ve never been one of those guys.”
In addition to fining David West and LeBron James for flopping, the NBA also upgraded West’s fourth quarter foul on Dwyane Wade to a flagrant foul.