Houston Rockets guard James Harden is not going down without a fight after becoming the first NBA player this season to receive a $5,000 fine for flopping.
Harden plans to appeal the ruling to the NBA, CSNHouston.com reported, saying he doesn't want to be labeled as a flopper.
The fine resulted from his second offense in the first seven games of the season. After the first flop in a Nov. 5 game against the Portland Trail Blazers, he received a warning as stipulated by NBA policy.
"The first one, I really did get hit in the face," Harden told CSNHouston.com. "I'm trying to appeal that right now. I really did get hit in the face. It was just a late reaction."
The second flop came came during a game agaist the Los Angeles Clippers while chasing a loose ball.
"I don't want to be known as a flopper or a guy who is looking to get calls, that type of player," Harden said. "That type of player I've never been. It was a bad call."
If Harden wins his appeal, one flopping infraction would be wiped out and the fine would be rescinded. If it stands and he is called for flopping again this season, the next fine would increase to $10,000.
The 24-year-old Harden is averaging 24.9 points, 5.1 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game this season.