Count Spurs guard Manu Ginobili among those unfazed by the NBA’s newfound crackdown on flopping.
The league on Wednesday unveiled a system new for this season that would penalize chronic floppers with an escalating series of fines up to $30,000.
Ginobili, oft-accused of practicing the tactic in the past, said he doesn’t think the new rules will do much to change the way the game is played.
“It’s going to be very hard to determine when it’s a flop and when it’s not,” Ginobili said.
“There’s a lot of contact, a lot of heavy players, and it can be tricky. I don’t think (fining players) is going to happen much.”
The new policy would use next-day video review to catch suspected flops, which the NBA defines as any action meant to fool a referee into calling an undeserved foul on another player.
The penalty for the first offense would be a warning, then a fine of $5,000 for the second offense, $10,000 for a third offense, $15,000 for a fourth, and $30,000 for a fifth infraction.
Six or more flops could result in a suspension.
Though many players across the league were outspoken Wednesday in their support of the NBA’s anti-flopping attempts, the National Basketball Players Association announced its intention to file a grievance claiming any new economic forms of discipline must be collectively bargained.
“Obviously, flopping isn’t a good thing for the game,” said Spurs forward Matt Bonner, a vice president of the players’ union. “The question is, how do you police it? Fining seems a bit extreme, to say the least.
“I don’t think it will hold up. If it does, I’m curious what the collateral damage will be. It’s too extreme in my opinion.”
The NBA is not the first major basketball league to tackle the flopping issue.
FIBA, the sport’s international governing body, allows officials to issue an immediate technical foul to a player deemed to flop.
“You look at what they do in Europe, with the technical, that seems more in line,” Bonner said.
“It’s enough of a deterrent to keep guys from flopping. Fining guys I don’t think is necessary.”
Even with the advantage of video review, Ginobili believes league overseers will find it difficult to find indisputable evidence of a flop.
“It’s going to be very hard to determine,” he said. “Many times, it’s an exaggeration of contact. That’s not a flop. A flop is when there is not contact and not a foul. So we’ll see how they explain it and how it works.”
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