The New Flopping Rules: Kudos to the NBA?

Understand this… it’s all about survival.

Many will relate today’s news – the NBA has instituted new rules and fines targeted at floppers – to the, you know, equivalent offenders and penalties in other sports. But, know this: this is a bare minimum. It’s a bare minimum with teeth.

It’s about the NBA nipping their problem in the bud, but it’s also about them not treating it like it’s bigger than it is.

The NHL has a penalty called diving. That gives offenders two minutes in the box to think about their actions and potentially watch the other guys score a goal on their undefended goaltender. The NHL recently mused about the idea of publicly shaming multiple offenders but, with all due respect to the NHL and its fine management brass, that seems a little like pinning the tail on a donkey you’re feeding. The players already get penalized. There are rules against it. Why blacklist them, too?

What’s that supposed to accomplish?” asked The Score‘s Justin Bourne. “Get opponents to chirp them about embellishing so they’ll stop? Do they think guys who dive don’t already get chirped? Pests pride themselves on their pest-iness.”

“It’s a thing outside the rules some guys do more than others to gain an advantage,” said The Province‘s Harrison Mooney. “Just like everything else there’s a penalty for.”

Soccer is known for just being a lawless, flagrant, flopping free-for-all. Cristiano Ronaldo is a diver, but he’s just keeping up with the Joneses. The English are known to be the only country that plays as hard as a North American would, but even they aren’t immune to the criticism.

In other sports, diving and flopping is dealt with in its own way. The NBA has nothing to compete, and the fouls are softer than any other sport. A wayward hand that grazes the wrong part of someone’s arm can be a flagrant foul. Boo Boo’s are serious injuries.

Michael Jordan is known for being a hero – a knight – for playing through the flu in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals. It’s replayed over and over… and over. Phil Jackson talks about it like some speak of their sons attacking Normandy.

And yet, hockey playes win with broken legs. They pull their teeth out on the bench. Ditto for football players. Don’t even start on rugby.

Basketball is a softer sport. It’s a hell of a sport, but it’s softer. It’s that kind of prima donna style that fosters floppers, or divers. They’re used to being coddled.

And yet, somehow, the NBA now has the best flopping regulations in professional sports.

1st Offense is a warning.

The 2nd is $5,000.

The 3rd? A hefty $30,000.

Really? For flopping?

Mooney (above) is right. Flopping is an infraction, but it’s not murder. It’s not even downloading a song. It gives you an advantage. If you do it, and it’s just that obvious, then chances are you either won’t get away with it, or you’ll hear about it from your peers.

It’s simply a distraction that takes the audience’s eyes away from the bigger problems of each game. Why? Because, many of those problems are caused by the NBA. They’re caused by the NHL. They’ve been allowed to continue, in soccer.

You can’t just cut it off at the tail, or pretend that all of a sudden it’s polluting your game.

It’s embarrassing, but it’s harmless.

Then again, when you watch what Manu and Harden are capable of, $30,000 seems like a bargain: