Former center: NBA forces players to flop

mcilvaine-roomFlopping has become very common in the modern NBA, and we’ve recently seen one in G2 of the NBA Finals, when Dwyane Wade flopped on Manu Ginobili, and got a $5,000 fine.

Former NBA center Jim McIlvaine believes that the NBA is forcing players to flop by not making the penalty for it harsh enough.

“That’s how the NBA wants the game to be played. If they didn’t want the game played that way, the penalty for flopping would be far greater than $5,000,” he recently wrote on SportsBlogs.

McIlvaine added that the players have adjusted nicely, “embracing flopping as a strategy”.

“Why wouldn’t a guy flop, if it could help his team get to the next round or win a title? I am embarrassed for them. They deserve better than that, the fans deserve better and the game deserves better,” McIlvaine said.

Commenting on Wade’s flop, McIlvaine said his “performance was on par with anything garnering Tony Awards over on CBS that evening”.

“People can criticize Wade all they want for flopping, but that is how the NBA wants the game to be played,” he said.

He went on to add that the athletes who play in the NBA are some of the most competitive people in the world, and they are willing to do whatever it takes to win games and championships.

“The stakes are never higher than the NBA Finals. Ask any NBA player on any NBA roster if he’d be willing to fork over $5,000 to get a key opposing player in foul trouble and their response would be, “check or cash?” Several of those guys may exchange double or triple that amount with each other on the plane ride home anyway and the value of winning an NBA Championship for an NBA player would far exceed $50,000 worth of flopping fines. NBA playoff shares are worth way more than $5,000,” McIlvaine noted.

Speaking about the solution to the flopping problem, McIlvaine said it may be a challenge, but nonetheless, the NBA has to look into the problem.

mcilvaine-vs-oneal” I realize it may be a challenge to come up with a viable solution for every regular-season NBA game, but with the stakes being higher in the playoffs, changes could be made that could have an immediate impact on the game,” he said.

“Instead of fining a player $5,000, how about issuing him a foul and taking one away from the innocent player? The technology and resources exist to do this during a playoff game, although it may be a challenge to police this during all 82 regular-season games. Make flopping a technical foul and make it count as a personal foul and team foul,” McIlvaine explained.

“Imagine what would’ve happened in Game 2, if after the next time out, it was announced that Wade flopped and was assessed a foul for it and Ginobili’s previous foul was rescinded? That arena would’ve gone bonkers and it would’ve hurt the Heat far more than a measly $5,000 fine, possibly costing them the game, instead of the other way around. Do you think players would get the message and stop flopping…at least in the playoffs? Instantly,” he said.

McIlvaine went on to add that the bottom line is that NBA players want their legacy and the memory fans have of them to be that of stellar displays of athleticism, not acting.

“The NBA is forcing players to flop by not making the penalty for it harsh enough and I’m embarrassed for them. They deserve better than that, the fans deserve better and the game deserves better. I hope the NBA realizes this soon and adjusts accordingly. I know the players will,” he said.

Jim McIlvaine played 7 seasons in the NBA, for Washington Bullets, Seattle Sonics and New Jersey Nets. He established himself as a solid shot-blocker in the league, averaging a career-high 2.1 blocks per game in 1995-96.

He played in total of 401 NBA games (started in 214), averaging 2.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg and 1.7 bpg in 14.8 mpg.


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