LOS ANGELES – The NBA announced Wednesday it will fine players for repeated acts of flopping, and at least one player says it’s no more than the league’s brass trying to get paid.
"It's not going to win or lose games for anybody. It's a good way for the NBA to get more money," Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin said.
As per the new rule, the first flopping offense merits a warning followed by a $5,000 fine for the second offense, $10,000 for the third, $15,000 for the fourth, $30,000 for the fifth and a suspension with six or more.
NBA vice-president of basketball operations Stu Jackson said in a statement that "flops have no place in our game" and offenders will be determined upon video review. Griffin's reputation as a flopper once caused Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins to describe him as "an actor."
"I guess it's good in a sense that it stops any of it from happening," Griffin said after the Clippers' open practice and scrimmage at the Galen Center on Wednesday. "But now you're telling me if it's Game 7 of the NBA Finals and a guy has a chance to make a play he's going to be like, 'Well, do I want this $10,000 or do I want a championship?' "
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Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said the possibility of the rule was discussed during the recent NBA coach's meetings in Chicago. He said he planned on talking in more detail about the rule to his players soon.
"It's going to be interesting how they view that from a league perspective," Del Negro said. "But it's a rule and we have to abide by it. If that's what the commissioner wants to do and the competition committee, we'll abide by it."
The National Basketball Players Association also announced plans to file a grievance and an unfair labor practice charge challenging the new rule. NBA players union executive director Billy Hunter said in a statement that the rule has to be first bargained by the union and that a "monetary penalty for an act of this type is inappropriate."
Clippers guard Chris Paul, a board member of the players' union, declined comment through a team spokesperson. Clippers forward Caron Butler, who has been heavily involved with the players' union in the past, believes the new flopping rule is a good addition.
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"Over the years you see some calls and some plays where you can be like, 'He kinda sold it. That's why he made the call.' But if they got that in place it's probably better for the game," said Butler, who described ex-NBA player Vlade Divac as the best flopper ever.
Paul (finger surgery), guard Chauncey Billups (Achilles) and forward Grant Hill (rest) did not participate in the scrimmage due to injuries, but did take part in practice drills.
Griffin was back on the floor publicly for the first time since having left knee surgery on July 16 that caused him to miss the London Olympics. The former NBA dunk champion showed no ill effects as he caught an alley-oop, threw the ball off the backboard to himself before dunking it, jumped high in the air for two steals and dove to the floor for a loose ball twice during the scrimmage.
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"The knee thing isn't really an issue anymore," Griffin said. "It's just the fatigue of camp, having two-a-days and things like that. I'm passed the knee [injury]. I got past it a couple weeks after surgery.
"It's not in my mind to be honest. Even though there is still a little swelling, it still feels normal."
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