As a longtime fan of the New York Knicks, I take their playoff losses hard. The 100-67 thrashing in Miami was no exception. But what really irked me about this game was the blatant flopping by Miami Heat forward LeBron James.
I understand that players look for every possible advantage in NBA playoff games. But flopping is categorically unsportsmanlike. Look at how flopping has hurt international football. Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best footballers in the world today. But he is also one of the best divers. Diving is such a problem in football that they penalize players for doing it. Intentionally flopping to deceive a referee is a misconduct. Is this where professional basketball is heading?
Look at this ridiculous flop by James in the first quarter of Game 1: video. James deflected a pass and gained possession in the corner. He was met by Knicks guard J.R. Smith. After very light contact, James ended up six feet out of bounds. Preposterous.
Yes, James gained an advantage for the Heat in both of these plays. But the ends do not justify the means. James is too good to rely on such unsporting methods. I don't remember Michael Jordan ever flopping, unless you count his attempt at professional baseball.
I know the Knicks were blown out in Game 1. They have a lot more to worry about than a couple of flops by James. But it's just sickening to me to watch a future NBA Hall of Famer resort to such tactics. I hated Jordan for standing in the way of the Knicks year after year. But I respected him for the player he was. His flu game will live on forever. That was an example of Jordan's greatness. What will James' legacy be? Does he want to be known as a chronic flopper? Until the NBA does something about flopping, James will keep doing it. And it may even help him win an NBA title. But he won't win the respect of his peers and fans.
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Edwin Torres was born in New York City. He has been a Knicks fan since the early 1980s. He has visited Madison Square Garden on many occasions to watch the Knicks and his favorite player, Patrick Ewing. For more articles, follow him on Twitter @FlipPoker