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Let the flop policing begin
Question of the Day
Which flops will be deemed worthy of punishment and which will be allowed to slide? Which types of flops will draw the most attention? Trying to draw charges on defense? Embellishing in hopes of getting to the free throw line on offense?
Everyone is about to start finding out.
“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.”
The system will likely evolve as the season goes on, and players will adjust. But it will take some time.
“It’ll mess up a lot of people’s games,” Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins said. “Maybe some of these All-Stars won’t be All-Stars after that.”
It certainly is a label that applies to some of the game’s biggest stars, including a few on the Heat as they marched to the championship last season.
“I don’t know how they’re going to gauge what’s a flop and what’s not a flop,” LeBron James said. “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.”
With all this in mind, here are a few candidates who may have a little flop sweat, so to speak, as they prepare to play under these new guidelines:
_Anderson Varejao, F/C, Cavaliers: The big Brazilian has long been one of the league’s most prolific floppers, letting loose with loud screams each time he’s hit and falls to the floor. “I’m not flopping anymore,” Varejao said with a smile on media day. “I used to flop a little bit.”
_Harden, G, Rockets: Whether he was snapping his head back while hitting a screen on defense or flying to the deck on a drive to the basket on offense, the savvy Harden has quickly gained a reputation for flopping. Now that he’ll be getting more minutes as a starter in Houston, will that equate to more flops? “It was bound to happen at some point,” he said. “Obviously, the league got fed up with it and they put it in. I’m happy they did.”
_Ginobili, G, Spurs: The Argentinian’s roots in that soccer-mad country can be seen in his approach on the court, where the lefty flops every chance he can get.
_JJ Barea, G, Timberwolves: The diminutive spark plug has had to use any means necessary to succeed against bigger competition, and he knows that “absolutely” people across the league consider him a flopper. “”I’m going to play the same way since I was a kid, so whatever happens, happens,” he said.
AP Sports Writers Tim Reynolds in Miami, Greg Beacham in Los Angeles, Antonio Gonzalez in Sacramento, Calif., Tom Withers in Cleveland and Jeff Latzke in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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