Flopping at its Finest


Photo by Photo courtesy of Google Images

Oklahoma City’s Derek Fisher flops like a fish.

Matt Anderson, Staff Writer


Your favorite team is struggling in crunch-time of an important game. They need a possession. So they turn to flopping—the art of making it look like contact was made to get a call, and more importantly, possession.

Flopping has become a problem in a few major sports, including basketball, soccer, and believe it or not, football. Generally, flopping is considered unsportsmanlike, using acting instead of skill to get calls.

Flopping was becoming such a problem in the NBA, that in 2011 the league actually did something about it. Starting in the 2012-13 season, players caught flopping were given a warning after the first offense, then charged in increments of $5,000 after each infraction. After a fifth offense, players are charged $30,000. Lance Stephenson of the Pacers and Mario Chalmers of the Heat were each fined in February for their second offenses.

Some famous NBA floppers include Pau Gasol, LeBron James, Anderson Varejao, Derek Fisher (he flops like a fish), and Manu Ginobili.

Ginobili is considered by many to be the worst flopper in the NBA. He is not only known for blowing the Finals for the Spurs, but also his great acting skills on the court. One of his famous flops was against ex-Jazzman and retired Raja Bell (a famous flopper himself). During the 2010-11 season, Ginobili lowered his shoulder, and both he and Bell reacted like they both got shot. The call was a blocking foul on Bell, and EnergySolutions Arena erupted and was left confused.

Another famous offense occurred in 2009 when Shaquille O’neal flopped while defending Magic center Dwight Howard. Previous to this flop, Shaq criticized several NBA players of flopping and said “I’m a guy with no talent who has gotten his way with hard work.”

The popular video game series NBA 2K also introduced a flopping button on its controller in NBA 2K14 game. It goes to show how much flopping is used in the game today.

Soccer is another sport that has a problem with flopping. You’ve watched soccer before—a player will attempt a tackle and the opposing player will react like he broke his leg in half. In 2011 the MLS put in a rule that after matches video replay would be used after games to fine the accused floppers.

In 2011 Real Salt Lake striker Alvaro Saborio flopped inside the box, where it was obvious the defender didn’t lay a finger on him. The defender, Bobby Burling, received a red card, while Saborio merrily put in the PK. After the game, Saborio was suspended for the next game and fined $1,000. Head coach Jason Kreis wasn’t happy with the flop.

Bingham soccer coach Matthew Kennaley said his team is not really into flopping.

“I let them play how they play but I don’t encourage it,” he said. “And I don’t like to see it.”

Believe it or not, football is even getting in the mix in the pandemic of flopping. Punters and kickers (who probably once played soccer) will flop after they kick, trying to engage the “running into the kicker” or “roughing the kicker” penalties. More often than not that flop will result in first downs and drives kept alive.