Flopping In The NBA Finals
I have watched the National Basketball Association since the 1970s and became a fan in the 80s at the height of the rough and tough plays and the Showtime Lakers.
And of course who would forget the 1990s which was owned by the ever reliable Michael Jordan even though the Rockets and the Pistons both got their back-to-back titles in that decade.
The new millennium was a toss-up between the Spurs the new Lakers and also seen the rise of NBA Superstars from all over world and amazing athletes who may or may not have the reliable back-up and role team mates which made the likes of Magic, Bird, Jordan, Duncan, Olajuwon, Shaq and Kobe, household names and NBA MVPs and NBA Champions.
What has made me stop following the games all that much starting back in the 1990s is when muscular, powerful and tough athletes started flopping.
Flopping, in the sense that made it a fine art, and for those who may not be aware what a flop is or what flopping is, it is in essence acting as if you were pushed, bumped, pulled or otherwise fouled. Normally it is characterized as falling awkwardly to the floor. But the thing is because the NBA does not review the tapes of the plays, flopping as an art has continued and has again reached its height now in the 2000s, with a whole new batch of great floppers (or great NBA actors).
I do not want to name names as I know a lot of you fans of these great NBA actors, I mean NBA players will get upset.
And I know, sometimes you have to play act a little bit just to get a call from the referees and to at least get their attention.
Although sometimes flopping does have its disadvantages and dire consequences, especially if the refs are ignoring you or see otherwise.
Like for example if you as the defending player flops and falls down to the floor on a nudge from the offensive player, the refs don’t blow their whistles and all the player with the ball has to do is to shoot the ball uncontested.
And you as the offensive player flops at a swipe at the ball by the defending and you lose possession. The ball goes the other way and like in the other example, your coach will have your head.
You also see the fine art of flopping even if you do not have the ball and if you are just jockeying for position or are running up or down the court. Some players are just better floppers than others. And some can sell it all the time and so they continue to do so
But still flopping is flopping and a flop is a flop, for goodness sakes, even if it was done by your favorite player.
Now my things is, we have seen enough flops all through the regular season.
We have seen it done remarkably well by a few players in the post season, and if they are still in the Finals, then maybe just maybe they will continue to do so as of course they know it works and it works well.
But please Commissioner Stern and the referees officiating the NBA Finals, if you can at least not call a foul on flops within the last 5 minutes of the game, even in the last three or two minutes. I believe every real true blue NBA basketball fan will be happy. And if you absolutely must, then you musth have to call it at both ends.
I am not sour-graping and I am not taking the win away from the Celtics in game two of the 2010 Finals, in the same way that I am not taking the first win away from the Lakers but please for the love of the game, the three referees officiating the second game had a lot of contradictory call especially towards the end of the game where it was close and could be anybody’s game. But please if you have to go to reviewing the tape of the play, the people at Staples will not kill you if you give the Lakers the call in their home court. Yes, it is alright to do it. And no, nobody will accuse you of fixing the game, like Tim Donaghy.
If you miss that particular play, I am talking about, it was the play under the Celtics basket, with the referees having a hard time deciding who touched the ball last between Garnett and Gasol and with Garnet rebounding coming from the back of Gasol at that. If that was in any other home court, it would have been automatic home team’s ball. Especially because they even did not call the out-in-the-open shove on Gasol by Perkins. No Foul. Celtic Ball, yes even though the call was obvious at the time of the play and upon review of the replay. And if one is to ask anyone, that was the big play, the big call that changed the whole ballgame.
Anyway I am not really talking about that now, as I already noted this kind of officiating in the first round of the playoffs and in the western conference finals.
But the great flop of Pierce when the game was on the line, on Artest who barely touched him should get him an award and the refs should just hit themselves on the head after they watch the replays. And not that he wasn’t doing it the whole game, I know like Fisher who was doing it but the refs weren’t biting that day. And Kobe wasn't getting away a whole lot, in fact he was getting a lot of bad calls, weird day.
But having said that, it is totally a different matter within the last minutes of the game, refs should allow the players to play and not to play act, special mention to Pierce and Fisher.
Artest took a swipe on the ball from the back as Rondo was rushing to their basket, he loses the ball and yes it does look like a foul, but the replay shows the correct call should have been a non-call, as in many other situations. Foul Artest.
Now back on the other end, Rondo takes a swipe on the ball from the back of Bryant, he loses the ball. No foul. Talk about consistency and of calling it fairly.
Sour-graping or not, I am not taking this game away from Ray Allen and Rondo. But please not that way, not like what happened in the last few minutes of that game and not in the Lakers home court.
People are not even thinking about Tim Donaghy anymore, do not let them have an opportunity to. And do not give the people an idea that someone wants to extend the series, even extend it all the way to seven games. No, fans would love that of course, but they also want the players to play and play through the rough plays, and great players do not need the refs to help or bail them out. But at least be fair, call it tight or call it loose both ways at the end game.
And please no more flopping in the last two minutes.
There should a new NBA rule flopping in the last minutes should be an automatic violation or technical foul.