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Ball Don't Lie

NBA owners did not vote on flopping rules at Thursday meeting

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

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Manu Ginobili (Noah Graham/ Getty)

Way back in June, when the NBA was still playing real games, we noted that the league's competition committee had discussed instituting new penalties for flopping. It was great news for many, a chance for the league to rein in a supposed epidemic. Others, like me, thought that any set of flopping rules and regulations would be too difficult to implement, at least at first.

On Thursday, the NBA's Board of Governors (i.e. the owners) met in Las Vegas to discuss potential rule changes. According to Henry Abbott of TrueHoop, who got a hold of the agenda, they will not discuss flopping (via PBT). There are no reasons stated for not putting flopping solutions up to a vote, but I'm willing to bet that initial discussions didn't produce a consensus on viable penalties.

That take is largely based on what the owners did discuss: immediate replays after every flagrant foul, to determine severity; whether teams should be able to choose to inbound from the baseline or sideline after timeouts; and late-game replays for goaltending calls and fouls in the restricted area. These are fairly simple ideas to debate, based not on subjective interpretations of rules but simple discussions about whether replays breaks and more team choices improve quality of play. They're the sort of issues that can be voted upon in a short opinion, rather than over the course of many meetings with all sorts of worries about unintended consequences.

That's not to say that the NBA will never come up with penalties for flopping, or that technology will never allow referees to get a better read on exactly what constitutes an unintentional flop and what's just a guy falling over due to contact. But, for the time being, the existence of a problem doesn't necessarily mean that a good solution exists. While it's natural to want instant gratification on an issue such as this one, sometimes answering that problem ends up creating five more new ones.

Again, these aren't reasons to stop looking for the best way to police flopping. It's just a reminder that an available solution isn't necessarily a good one.

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