What do NBA officials think when they watch Association Football and floppers are assessed a yellow card?
Being bored last night, I decided to catch a little NBA playoff basketball. Golden State Warriors versus the New Orleans Pelicans in The Big Easy. Knowing the Warriors won about 66 games this year and most basketball analysts think they will definitely win the series, I wanted to see how well they performed againist the number 8 seed. I also wanted to see if the Pelican, being the team with the fewest wins in the West and still making the playoffs, could give the Warriors a good fight.
About 15 minutes or so of viewing, while the Warriors were on defense, Draymont Green of the Warriors was guarding Ryan Anderson very closely up high and far from the basket. With both hands on the ball, Ryan was swinging his arms back and forth trying to maneuver against Draymont. As his arm got close to Draymont’s face, Mr. Green, appeared to get hit and threw himself to the ground. From Draymont’s reaction, it looked as though he was either sucker punched or hit by a cannon ball.
The replay clearly showed that Ryan was no closer than 3 inches to the defenders’s face during this exchange. In less time than the 24 second clock, it appeared words were exchanged as Draymont, showing no shame, was not having it. He appeared to suggest to Ryan that you flop so I’ll flop too. If the Celtics flop, we’ll flop, if the Spurs flop, we’ll flop just the same. In other words, we will attempt to gain a competitive advantage if we can. If we can trick or manipulate the referees, we’ll take that edge. I wonder if the former star at Michigan State is suggesting, sportsmanship is only for little leaguers?
Again, no collision by the offensive player caused Draymont to hit the floor. Look, I’m not citing the referee on this one although I sometimes think NBA referees call many more offensive fouls than decades ago. Anyway, if it’s close it will go either way. Sometimes a defensive foul and sometimes it’s called on the player trying to gain an offensive position. In my mind, the advantage should go to the offensive player unless it’s clearly an offensive foul. Isn’t the NBA all about action and entertainment? In other words, doesn’t the NBA fan look for spectacular dunks and scoring that exceeds 100 points during regulation?
After this occurred, it appeared the announcers laughed and mentioned a possible academy award. Is acting good for the game? In European football, referees often assess players yellow cards for flopping, especially around the penalty area. Sometimes English announcers will say this type of manipulation and deception is cynical. I’ve watched flopping in the NBA for at least 40 years and not once have I had the description used when a defensive player flops after being slightly touched or not touched at all. Often, in the NBA, players are congratulated when dishonesty helps gain their team that competitive advantage.
Indeed, flopping has been around for quite some time although I wonder if it’s more common place over the last 5-10 years or so. Even if it’s impossible to eliminate and certain players will always try to gain that edge, I’d love the NBA to change their policy when it comes to excessive drama and deceptiveness. If it’s definitely a flop, penalize the flopper (defensive player) by giving the offense 2 free throws and possession of the ball. This might be a good step in deterring some of this from occurring. Of course, evaluate after the pre-season or regular season to see if the results meet the expectations that were created prior to the new policy.
BTW, speaking of offensive, the fact that so many offensive fouls are called in today’s NBA is offensive.