On flopping

By Jason Wojciechowski on May 9, 2008 at 12:39 AM

Jeff Van Gundy is a freaking genius. Here are his three proposals for flopping:

  1. If the referee thinks it's an exaggeration of the contact, even if he thinks it's also a foul, call no foul;
  2. Review of every game tape to determine how often flops happen: points assigned for flopping; upon a certain number of points accumulated through the season, suspension;
  3. If you're suspended, you also have to wear a scarlet F on your jersey so the referees know who the floppers are.

JVG referred to this last proposal as "a little off the wall", and then Mike Breen teased him about it, but you know what? Nobody likes this flopping stuff. Nobody likes that a 6'9", 260 pound beast named LeBron James gets a little contact from Rajon Rondo and throws his arms around like a Mack truck hit him. It's not just LeBron of course; he's just (a) my favorite topic; (b) the guy who prompted the Van Gundy rant. But the problem precisely is that everyone does it, with a few exceptions: Kevin Garnett doesn't really do it; Shaq's another one. But name another star, or role player, or 12th man, and they'll fall to the floor acting like they got shot at the least contact.

Along the same lines, the referees have to continue to get more careful about the offensive players initiating the contact -- if the defender has his arms up and you jump into them, no foul! If you draw the defender into the air and then jump into his body (a Kobe special, I'll admit), no foul! The referees were supposedly emphasizing this recently, but from watching the last few weeks, it seems like they've gone back to the bad old Reggie Miller days at times.

Oh, and I hate the "if you hit a guy after he's released his shot, it's a shooting foul" rule. If you run into the guy as you're closing out on his jump shot, that should be a loose-ball foul if the shot doesn't go in and an and-one if it does. None of this shooting foul nonsense.