Ball Don't Lie

Even Vlade Divac is sick of NBA players flopping

Kelly Dwyer
Ball Don't Lie

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Shaq clearly flops as Vlade Divac shoots, which is totally where Vlade got the idea from (Getty Images)

Last week, Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops caught up with former Laker, Hornet, and Kings center Vlade Divac, to briefly discuss the NBA's move to artlessly curtail flopping:

During the Olympics you have met with NBA commissioner David Stern in order to discuss the matter of flopping. How do you comment the new anti-flopping rule?

"They started overdoing it, I think it was bad for basketball and it was a great decision to make basketball more clear."

There you go. The man routinely credited with turning defensive flopping into a go-to move has had enough.

[Also: Steve Nash bonds quickly with Kobe Bryant in Lakers debut]

The idea of flopping had been around for decades at the NBA level, but before Divac started throwing his arms back and diving to the floor midway through his career flopping wasn't really all that prevalent. Dubious charges were common, as the Chicago Bulls of the late 1990s often set up camp under their opponents in order to allow their aging bodies to earn the call, but it wasn't until Divac gained prominence after moving to Sacramento in 1999 that he and others started embellishing contact. Those Bulls, Knicks and Pistons teams took the contact. Vlade took some of it, and acted as if he took all of it.

He was smart to do so, because the refs (both then and now) couldn't keep up in their attempts to call every tiny bit of contact as mandated by the NBA. Now the NBA, as they often do, is attempting to overreact and go the other way as they stack judgment calls on top of judgment calls while keeping their league in the news during off hours.

We'd like it better if the NBA would start fining television stations for not airing more interviews with Vlade Divac.

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