Centers' Little Helper

Dennis Hans, unrenowned former adjunct professor of mass comm and American foreign policy, relentlessly exposed the Bush administration’s “techniques of deceit” BEFORE the Iraq war, when it could have made a difference (see links). For decades he has fought baseball’s discrimination against lefthanded infielders and promoted his ingenious clockwise solution. A lifelong advocate for a flowing, non-brutal, flop-free NBA, he now champions the cause of its second-class citizens: the centers.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I’m with Kobe on flopmeister Raja Bell
Much as I like Mike D’Antoni and the Phoenix Suns, it’s hard for me to root for a team with Raja Bell, who does indeed deserve to be disrespected. He makes a joke of the game — and his coach, his owner, Suns legend Jerry Colangelo and Commissioner David Stern — with his incessant flopping. He can be a feisty, annoying and very effective defender playing it straight. He ought to give it a try.

The great sports columnist for, King Kaufman, joins Jeff Van Gundy in calling for a technical foul whenever a ref presumes a player has flopped, rather than the ref merely allowing the play to continue with no whistle. That would be a small step in the right direction, but the NBA can do better. I’m still mulling over an appropriate penalty in the playoffs, but I think we could eliminate flopping long before the playoffs roll around with this regular-season penalty: 10-game suspension for the player, during which time his coach — who almost certainly, at a minimum, condones the flopping and may encourage or even teach the tactic — must a wear clown suit in public, in recognition of his contribution to REALLY "disrespecting" the game.


At 6:02 PM, Blogger laura said...

raja bell is almost worse than derek fisher. maybe it's my laker fan bias showing through--when d fish flopped as a laker, he got some calls that benefited the team. i may not like flopping, but i notice that i really hate it when the opposing team does it.

i think the reason that flopping is such an ingrained problem is because there are too many floppers who have installed themselves as indispensable teammates. sure kobe hates raja's flopping. but did he hate it when d fish flopped for their team's benefit? i think it's a lot like the bitching about officiating. it's whining when your losing opponent does the bitching, but when you're bitching it's just your way of evening the officiating bias to your favor in the next game.

i'm not saying that flopping shouldn't be rooted out. all i'm saying is that players and coaches should look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves if they're willing to forgo any fortuitous calls that go their way as a result of their teammates' well timed flop. say for example steve nash makes the game winning lay up after a well timed flop on raja's part. would nash give back the posession for the sake of the game? maybe if they were up 20 points with 5 minutes left he might. but in a tight game, standards inevitable start to bend, for better or for worse.

it's true that flopping sucks. but honestly--if my teammate flopped, causing us to gain a critical posession that helped us win a tight game, would i give it back? no, i wouldn't. and i may just burn in hell for that.

At 10:53 PM, Blogger Dennis Hans said...

I wholeheartedly agree. Just last season the Suns used to denounce the Sonics for their flopping antics against Amare. Just about everyone in the NBA practices "situational ethics." That's why the problem needs to be addressed and rooted out systematically, rather than focusing on this or that player. It's to the point now that your team is at a disadvantage if you don't have 2 or 3 skilled floppers to neutralize the opposing team's anticipated flops. I think the majority of players would be happy with a flopping crackdown if they understood it would be fairly and thoroughly applied.

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