Mavericks’ Rick Carlisle: NBA to ‘stay the course’ on flopping policy
Even with David Stern suggesting that the NBA’s anti-flopping policy needs toughening up, the league’s Competition Committee has apparently decided to stick with the status quo for the 2013-14 season.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, a member of the Competition Committee, told reporters Saturday that no major changes to the anti-flopping policy were in the works.
“The competition committee met this week and a lot of progress has been made this past year and in the playoffs with the rule decreasing the amount of flops and attempted flops,’’ Carlisle said Saturday. “I believe we’re going to stay the course with the rule basically the way it is, and just continue to work to clean it up.
“And as time goes on, if it needs to be addressed again, it’ll be addressed again.’’
In a press conference before Game 1 of the Finals, Stern told reporters that the league’s anti-flopping policy isn’t sufficiently punitive to achieve its goal of curbing the simulation and exaggeration of fouls in an attempt to deceive the league’s referees. The policy, which was first introduced before the 2012-13 regular season, includes a warning for first-time offenders followed by escalating fines that begin at $5,000, with the threat of suspension for players who violate the policy on more than six occasions. Before the postseason, the NBA tweaked that policy to remove the free warning and to initiate the $5,000 fine on the first offense.
“It isn’t enough,” Stern said. “It isn’t enough. You’re not going to cause somebody to stop [flopping] for $5,000 when the average player’s salary is $5.5 million. And anyone that thought that was going to happen was allowing hope to prevail over reason. But you take a step and you begin to see it.”
The NBA doled out 24 flopping violations to 19 different players on 13 different teams during the regular season. Five players have received two infractions each, with zero players getting dinged three or more times. During the playoffs, eight players from five different teams have received an infraction, with zero repeat offenders. All told, the policy has resulted in zero suspensions and a total of $65,000 in fines.
Stern said that the goal of the policy wasn’t to accumulate massive fines, but to phase in gradually a procedure that could serve as a jumping off point for future discussions.
“There’s always a challenge of getting it right,” Stern explained. “The point was to do it gently, look at all the flops, and there have been plenty, [and then] penalize the most egregious very gently. We could end [flopping] immediately if we decided to suspend players, but that might be a bit draconian at the moment.”
Flopping has had a constant presence in headlines in recent weeks thanks in part to Heat forward LeBron James, who drew a fine during the Eastern Conference finals against the Pacers. Heat forward/center Chris Bosh also drew a fine for a flop during Game 4 of the Finals.