Sunday, April 27, 2008

Stop the disease

Flopping has reached a new low during these recent playoff games. It has been getting worse these past few years, but now, it's so bad it has to stop. It's embarassing; it's disgraceful. It takes a beautiful game, and makes it awkward, tacky and joyless.

If you want to flop, go play soccer. If you want to act, try Broadway. If you want to 'ball, and play in the Association, man up and don't embarrass yourself. If you take a full-on sprinting charge, you have permission to fall down. If someone's breathing in your airspace and you fall down, then maybe sports just aren't for you.

It's hoped here, that by highlighting these flops, and keeping track of the floppers, we can embarass them enough so they stop. Maybe in the offseason, an NBA committee will address this; maybe not. Since Seattle, I've not much faith in the big commish, or his office. We know players care about their millions, some even care about their legacies. Hopefully, enough will care about their rep, that if they get called out for flopping, and lose the respect of the league and its fans, maybe it won't be the thing to do anymore. A little accountability never hurt anyone.

Simmons, are you with me? SA Smith, can you feel me?

(I know SVG is with me; heard him complaining on air, asking the competition committee to do something about it in the offseason.)


So far, a few peeps, bloggers and so forth have addressed the issue:

And of course, the SG. [Pretty sure he addressed the whole idea of this blog somewhere, but since he writes 30,000 word columns, it's hard to track down tidbits specifically. If anybody has a specific link, let me know.] -- Correction: it wasn't the SG, apparently he was asleep at the wheel. The idea came from TrueHoop's Henry Abbott. Thanks to Westy for the info.

These are a bit dated, and a little particular.

As far as I know, no comprehensive study has been conducted.


So the basic goal of this thing is to shine some sunlight on some dirty, dirty, s***. But along the way maybe we address some questions:

1) Worst floppers? Maybe we develop some Hollinger-like statistics. TBD.

2) Where did flopping come from? When? When did it get this bad? (I have theories, but prefer data to back them up.)


Westy said...

Henry Abbott at True Hoop posted this blog idea a couple days ago and I'm glad to see someone's taken him up on it. He noted, "Now that anti-flopper Shaquille O'Neal is a Sun, some in Phoenix think flopping is the worst thing ever. (If that means Raja Bell is going to be available this summer, I'll take him on my Blazers.) Here's what I would do if I were Shaquille O'Neal: give $100,000 or so to some blogger internet nerd types and start a killer website documenting each and every terrible flop with video. Then identify the referees involved and call them out. Write little feature articles which referees give floppers the most calls, and which players flop most egregiously. The mainstream media will fawn all over that site, and I can't promise flopping will stop, but I can promise it will go way down.

I'll be very interested to see if mainstream media would cite some stats if someone came up with a number for % of fouls garnered that are flops.

Christian said...

I'm a huge Spurs fan and I don't like flopping either. A lot of fans will say the Spurs are the worst floppers in the league but I just want to remind everyone that every team flops and it's more than just Manu and Oberto doing it. I hope this exposes all the other floppers and it doesn't just take an anti-spurs position.

All Out Ward said...

Christian said, "every team flops and it's more than just Manu and Oberto doing it."

Yeah, like Tony Parker and Bruce Bowen. I will admit my bias by stating that I am a Suns fan. However, don't you think it's a bit of an indictment of Ginobili that even a Spurs fan mentioned his flopping without any provocation/mention from others? Manu is a great player, but I will NEVER respect his game and his talent when he flops so frequently and unabashedly. It's a slap to the face of basketball.

Anonymous said...

As long as human beings are playing and human beings are officiating, you will never stop players trying to bend the rules to their advantage. The NBA doesn't need a flop rule. They already have one. Nowhere in the rules does it say that players are to be rewarded for flopping. Now if the officials want to make it a point of emphasis, that's a different story altogether. The whole flopping backlash smells of sour grapes.

luckystuff said...

We're going to try and keep some neutrality on this site: we won't just go after Spurs.

That said, at this point the Suns and Spurs seem the worst offenders in the league.

But if you find some video with other teams/players flopping like fish, send it here, link it here, whatever. We'll catalog it and put it up, and it'll be around for all to see.

We're out to expose all flopping. Not just Spurs, not just scrubs. If KG flops, it'll be here. If Kobe flops, same. Equal opportunity. This is America.

Adam said...

It's not just the Spurs doing it, but they bear the greatest responsibility for this trend that is threatening to spoil an amazing postseason:

Chris said...

However, don't you think it's a bit of an indictment of Ginobili that even a Spurs fan mentioned his flopping without any provocation/mention from others?

It's more an indictment of predictable hoops-bloggers and commentors than anything else. If you stumble across somebody writing about flopping you know who they'll be talking about (Manu) and who they'll be actively ignoring (Laimbeer, Stockton and Malone, Rodman) in order to disregard historical precedent and somehow pin this on either the Spurs or European players. It's not like Jordan never ever ever oversold a charge in his life. It happened; we just didn't have YouTube and blogger to amplify it. Karl Malone didn't need the much-feared Soccer Influenced Foreigner to teach him how to flail his arms around when he barely got touched.

That being said, good for you guys for being fair w/r/t the Spurs and Suns. Pretty much every blog I've ever read on flopping essentially boils down to "My team just got eliminated by the Spurs, again, and I'm frustrated".

luckystuff said...

Chris -

Hopefully that's something we can address here: how much flopping has there been historically. Basically, it's addressing the cliche of "it was way better back in the day."

My hunch is that it's gotten qualitatively worse. It's one thing to flail your arms to help out a ref if you got hacked (that's been around for a while). It's another to essentially 'make up' contact and fall down, just fishing for a call because the refs are bad and will call fouls on what they didn't see. Both of them are bad, but somethings are worse than others.

One of the things Rodman would do was incite contact. He'd goad a player into banging with him in the post, and then he'd take a hit and fall down. So he'd fall down, but there was contact that 'caused' it. At least that's my memory; hopefully we can back an assertion like that up with video footage.

Michael said...

Your seeing increase of flops b/c they're euro players. They grew up on soccer which is nothing but flopping.

Stankoniforous One said...

Stank-0 would like to throw out Baron Davis' horrible flop against Mehmet Okur.

Various others