In the UK, or Europe even, we're pretty used to seeing 'flopping' in the game of football. In basketball, however, we tend to hope that the players have a little more integrity, and the determination to hold their own on the court.
Somewhere along the line, that seems to have gone very wrong. There have been some laughable acting jobs seen in the NBA in recent seasons, amongst those are the likes of Reggie Evans looking like he'd been electrocuted when Tony Allen hit him with his arm, while Evans was setting a screen.
You've got Dwayne Wade kicking out, Reggie Miller style, when he takes a jump shot so that he can fall to the ground when he gets contact. Perhaps the most familiar style of flopping to us, but the hardest to take, is the likes of Danilo Gallinari, who, last season, flapped and held his face like he'd been punched by Mike Tyson, after running into a screen by Pau Gasol. You'd expect to see the likes of that in the Spanish football league, not on an NBA court.
This season, things are about to change, and hopefully, flopping will become a thing of the past.
For the first time ever, players who are deemed to be trying to trick the referee into a foul that wasn't warranted, will face stiff punishment and a fine. Officials off court will monitor the games and review plays that could have been considered a flop after the game. If a player is deemed to have flopped then first they'll get a warning. The second time it's a bill for $5,000, then $10,000, then $15,000 and $30,000 for their fifth offence. If they haven't got the idea by then, then it's likely they've got more money than sense.
The brand new NBA season tips off tonight with the Boston Celtics visiting the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks checking in with the LA Lakers and the Washington Wizards making the trip to the Cleveland Cavaliers. While the new flopping rules are welcomes, there are also some concerns from players who aren't quite sure how the whole judgement thing is going to work.
"I hope that they give the offensive floppers the same amount of time and dedication that they're going to to the defensive floppers," said Heat forward Shane Battier. "Because flopping's a problem. Flopping is a silent killer. It really is a silent killer."
"My fear is that they're going to find some fresh Harvard Business School intern in the league office to be the flop reviewer - flop czar, the flop czar! - fresh out of the HBS and his or her highest level of basketball probably will be intramural," Battier said. "And they're making some potentially lucrative financial decisions. So I don't know. I don't know how they're going to administer it."
Battier's team mate, and last year's league MVP, LeBron James, also had this to say; "I don't know how they're going to gauge what's a flop and what's not a flop. Sometimes it's obvious, but it doesn't change my approach, honestly. I think it'll be good in the paint, though. When you're posting guys up and guys know they're smaller than you, they just take one bump and they already know before you even touch them the next time that they're going to automatically fall."
So tonight, let's sit back, and enjoy the first night of NBA basketball, and have a go at flop-spotting ourselves.
P.S. Try to watch the instructional video on what will be classed as a flop, without laughing at the way the word penalised is pronounced :)