NBA Introduces Anti-Flopping Rule, Union Protests

October 3 2012 at 10:49pm CST By Luke Adams

10:49pm: Union vice president Matt Bonner doesn't think the rule will be upheld, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News reports (Twitter links). "Obviously, flopping isn't a good thing for the game," Bonner said. "The question is, how do you police it? Fining seems a bit extreme." Bonner would prefer the NBA to combat the practice by calling technical fouls, as McDonald also tweets.

7:21pm: The NBA has released a statement denying any wrongdoing, as Jeff Zillgitt of USAToday.com writes. "Although we haven't seen any filing from the Players Association, our adoption of an anti-flopping rule is fully consistent with our rights and obligations under the collective bargaining agreement and the law," said league spokesman Tim Frank. 

5:50pm: The union's opposition is largely procedural, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com writes, adding that there was a dialogue between league and union officials before the rule was announced. The league had wanted a maximum fine of $50K, Berger hears, but settled on $30K for the fifth offense. The union is not opposed to a measure that would curb flopping, but believes monetary fines can't be imposed outside of those already laid out in the CBA. Berger clarifies that the union will file the grievance with the league office and the unfair labor practice with the National Labor Relations Board, which appears unlikely to respond anytime soon. 

5:11pm: The NBPA will file a grievance and an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board stemming from the anti-flopping measure, according to a statement released by the union, which claims the league acted without its input. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel posted a portion of the release via Sulia

“The NBA is not to unilaterally impose new economic discipline against the players without first bargaining with the union," the statement reads. "We believe that any monetary penalty for an act of this type is inappropriate and without precedent in our sport or any other sport. We will bring appropriate legal action to challenge what is clearly a vague and arbitrary overreaction and overreach by the Commissioner’s office."

12:40pm: The NBA has officially announced the adoption of an anti-flopping rule for the 2012/13 season, according to a press release sent out today by the league. Players who violate the rule will be warned for their first offense, and fined for subsequent offenses, according to the league, which defines flopping as follows:

"Flopping" will be defined as any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player. The primary factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact.

Whether or not a player "flops" will be determined using video review following the game, and I would imagine only egregious instances will be penalized. The penalties for flopping are as follows:

  • First offense: Warning
  • Second offense: $5K fine
  • Third offense: $10K fine
  • Fourth offense: $15K fine
  • Fifth offense: $30K fine
  • If a player violates the rule a sixth time (or more), an increased fine or suspension is likely.

The penalties implemented by the NBA for flopping only apply to regular-season action. The league is expected to announce at a later date a separate set of penalties that will apply to the postseason.

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