Of all the gripes about the current state of the NBA, none seem to get the masses chattering more than flopping. Now that we live in a time where arenas are equipped with high definition cameras capturing every angle of the floor, nothing slips past viewers at home — or a replay booth. The NBA has attempted to combat the problem by issuing what amounts to a slap on the wrist for violations, which range from a first offense warning all the way to a suspension for a sixth violation. Considering the average NBA salary is just north of $5 million, the $30,000 fine for a fifth violation isn’t much of a deterrent.
The other problem with the current penalty system is that it doesn’t affect the game in any way (unless a player racks up so many violations that it warrants a suspension — something no player has even come close to doing). If the penalty for flopping was, say, an in-game technical foul, then the shenanigans might stop, right? Fortunately, the NBA has a place to test such a rule: the Developmental League!
The D-League is as much the NBA’s personal guinea pig as it is a “minor league”, and as such, the NBDL will begin assessing technical fouls for flopping. According to Howard Beck, the new rules go into effect on February 20th, and will remain until the end of the season. The new system doesn’t give referees carte blanche to T-up players, as all flopping calls will be reviewed during the first timeout or quarter break following the call. If all goes well, the NBA may adopt a similar policy in the future.