NBA Commissioner David Stern has suddenly become obsessed with the “Flopping Epidemic” that has invaded the Association, like a virus in his opinion. Stern is so upset with players exaggerating the contact that they receive on a play, in hopes of getting his opponent charged with a foul; that the “Associated Press” reported, the Commissioner met with the NBA Competition Committee on Monday, in an attempt to come up with a solution to the problem. One idea under discussion would be to punish a player after the conclusion of the game, if he pulled the stunt during a contest after watching a replay of the game. How an individual would be penalized and if it would change the outcome of a game was not reported.
Although, with all the attention it has recently received, one would think that this scourge, that is about to tear the Association apart, is a recent phenomenon; instead of being around most likely as long as the game of basketball has existed. Growing up in Boston during the sixties listening to legendary Celtics announcer Johnny Most; each time Boston was fouled, the Celtics player received a vicious hit from his opponent. However, when Boston would commit a foul, Most would say the player practiced the “Stanislavski Method” of acting. Johnny passed away in 1993, almost 20 years before Stern would become concerned with the subject.
Exaggerating the impact that a player receives from his opponent during a play, has always been a part of the strategy of the game and it is up to the game officials to determine whether the player is bluffing, or whether he was truly fouled. If the problem exists; then it is with the NBA referees themselves for not being more observant.
If the Commissioner wanted to begin looking at the play when it happens, I would have no problem with that, as it is just using the technology we now have available to us. If Stern’s concern is that it would slow down games in the Association, then it us up to him to determine which action would hurt the game more; taking time out to make sure a play is correctly called, or keeping the present system in place. The idea of ruling after the game is over, would likely create more problems than it would solve; it is not an adequate solution.
Stern tends to go on these strange tangents, every few years; as those of us who remember when he obsessed about players shorts being too long. In my opinion, this so-called “Flopping Epidemic” is truly much ado about nothing.