The NBA announced Monday that Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade has been fined $5,000 for violating the league's anti-flopping rules during Miami's 98-96 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of the 2014 NBA Finals on Sunday.
The play in question took place at the 4:09 mark of the second quarter at AT&T Center on Sunday night, while Wade was being defended by Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili:
Ginobili took a swipe at the ball as Wade held it near center-court, and seemed to make, at most, slight contact with Wade's hand; Wade, however, leaned back as if Ginobili had hit him in the face. Ginobili was whistled for a foul, prompting heavy jeers from the AT&T Center faithful, and sending the Argentine to the bench for the final four-plus minutes of the first half. Wade, however, went to the free-throw line for a pair, cutting the Spurs' three-point lead to 37-36.
Wade — who finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, one steal and five turnovers in 34 minutes of work in the Game 2 win — insisted Monday that he had, in fact, been fouled, according to Christy Cabrera Chirinos of the South Florida Sun Sentinel:
“He took a swipe and he hit me. It was a late call by the ref, but he called it. I think that was the biggest thing, because it was late, everybody went 'Oooh,' but he hit me,” he said. “So, it was … [Mario Chalmers] threw it up to me, I saw Manu coming out of the corner of my eye to try and steal it, so my only thing was that to make sure he didn’t steal it, and he swiped. The ref called the foul and we move on.”
Clearly, the league office disagreed.
Ginobili appeared to go for a very similar call on a swipe by Heat guard Ray Allen with just over one minute remaining in the fourth quarter and the Heat leading 95-93, but did not get the benefit of the whistle:
Whether that strikes you as cosmic justice ("see, Manu tried to flop, too!"), a grave miscarriage ("call it both ways, refs!") or as just something that happened probably depends on which team in this series you're rooting for.
The NBA began penalizing flopping before the 2012-13 regular season, with the first violation bringing only a warning, a second costing a player $5,000, a third $10,000, a fourth $15,000 and a fifth $30,000. Five players received flop fines during the 2012-13 season. Six were fined during the '13-'14 season.
The penalty schedule speeds up for the playoffs, with the first-flop warning eliminated; come playoff time, the first confirmed flop brings a $5,000 fine. Eight players were dinged during the 2012-13 playoffs. Wade is the fourth player to receive a flopping fine in the 2014 postseason, joining Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson, who was fined twice; Pacers center Roy Hibbert; and Spurs big man Tiago Splitter. He's just the second player ever fined during the NBA Finals, joining teammate Chris Bosh, who was dinged during last year's matchup with the Spurs.
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