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Sports Business

NBA's Stern offers contradictory message on flopping, Pacers coach

May 14, 2012
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If it looks like a flop and feels like a flop, it’s probably a flop.

But if you’re an NBA coach, don’t call it a flop. Doing that will cost you.

In the case of Indiana Pacers Coach Frank Vogel it cost him $15,000 for calling Miami Heat players floppers.

It seems odd that while NBA Commissioner David Stern said at Sunday’s Pacers-Heat game that flopping in the league is a problem, Vogel is writing a check to the NBA for essentially saying the same thing. In one breath Stern says he’d have fined Vogel more if it had been solely up to him, and in the next breath, he says flopping is not a legitimate part of the game and players should be fined for it.

Stern needs to stop contradicting himself and offer a little more clarity on the issue.

The officiating certainly wasn’t on the Pacers’ side Sunday, but flopping probably isn’t why the Heat beat the Pacers in game one of their Eastern Conference semifinal at Miami. The Pacers simply didn’t play well enough down the stretch to pull this one out.

While flopping hasn’t cost the Pacers yet, you can bet it will before this best-of-seven series is over. The fact that a phony foul should cost any team is a sham and a shame—for players and fans alike.

Yes, floppers have always existed. But in recent years it’s been taken to new heights. Is the NBA going by the way of big-time international soccer and the WWF? Should aspiring basketball players head to the gym this summer or enroll at Juilliard for acting classes?

“I think it’s time to look at (flopping) in a more serious way,” Stern said Sunday. “Because it’s only designed to fool the referee. It’s not a legitimate play in my judgment. I recognize if there’s contact (you) move a little bit, but some of this is acting. We should give out Oscars rather than MVP trophies.”

Strong words from the commissioner.

So the NBA will “look” at it—maybe. But let’s not talk about. At least not in public. And especially if you’re an NBA coach.
 

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