The MAMBINO crew (and the general NBA writing populace) has been afire with rage at the egregious and seemingly unending flopping going on in these playoffs. LeBron, Wade, Chris Paul, James Harden and the like have been throwing their bodies around the court as if they got hit by a Rhinoceros rather than a hard screen or an errant forearm from a shooter. Commissioner David Stern has taken notice and there are whispers that a “flopping” committee will be instituted to stop our favorite NBA-ers from being thespians rather than the hard-nosed ballers of yesteryear.
But the controversy got us thinking, do the NBA superstars get away with flopping because the refs let them operate under a completely different set of rules? Or perhaps everyone does this, but maybe we’re just a little too sensitive to our best and brightest flailing about the court? The CDP and I discuss.
The CDP: There’s no doubt that the NBA disciplinary committee has had a pretty tough time keeping order in the L this year, with a rash of hard fouls on a mid-air Blake Griffin and lots of tough fouls to officiate. As a Lakers fan, my season was bookended with big Lakers suspensions by stupid fouls from our frontcourt: Bynum’s assassination attempt on JJ Barea and Metta World Peace’s elbow to the skull of James Harden. At the moment, though, the controversy is all about the Heat. On one hand, you have to admire a team like the Heat’s ability to get to the line with their explosive athleticism and deft maneuvering into the paint. Sometimes it’s hard to do anything else with LeBron and Wade but foul them. Through obscenely bad flops, constant yammering at the refs, and some Academy Award-caliber acting, it seems like this advantage has been contorted into something else entirely. There’s a growing sentiment that the Heat are playing by a whole other set of rules. In one short sequence against the Knicks, LeBron flopped against JR Smith before treating us to one of the worst flops I’ve ever seen. It swung the momentum of the game and was initially called a Flagrant 2 foul before being downgraded to a Flagrant 1. Poor Tyson Chandler is rightfully incredulous, as is the announcing team, prompting Van Gundy to wonder what kind of league the NBA is becoming where this is a flagrant foul.
What do you think? KOBEsh, do you feel like Kobe gets treated the same way?