Like most individuals, professional athletes can’t stand to lose in life or in sports. Some athletes, therefore, must do everything they can to win. That could mean practicing more, eating healthier, working to improve on weaknesses, and even changing the way they think about the game and how they study it. But, sometimes even then that is not enough to win.
NBA players like Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs and Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers are infamously known for being notorious floppers. For those who don’t know, flopping is a tactic where a player purposely exaggerates his response to little or no physical contact by the opposition to try to persuade the referees to make a call in his team’s favor. Flopping can occur on both the offensive and defensive ends shown here in these videos by Ginobili and Fisher respectively.
Flopping has grown increasingly popular. NBA players perhaps adopted the “flopping” technique from observing international soccer gameplay and understanding how crucial just one call in their team’s favor can make the difference between winning and losing.
When it comes down to the last few minutes of a close and important basketball game–such as Game 7 of the NBA Finals–wouldn’t you do everything in your power to win the championship for yourself, your team, and your city?
Most likely yes, but another question that may be just as important for the long-term aspects of the sport of basketball is whether or not flopping takes away from the genuine talent and spirit of the game. Prospective athletes and newcomers to the NBA try to find their niche. They look for ways to improve their game by seeking help from NBA players who are successful, and more often than not, these successful NBA players abuse the flopping tactic. Athletes also watch film but when they see a blatant flop by a five -time NBA champion like Kobe Bryant, they may follow suit and do the same.
My main concern is watching the NBA develop into a league of floppers. Not only does flopping take away from the spirit of the game, it encourages potential young stars to find ways to abuse rules and cheat. At the same time, it discourages fans of the NBA like me from watching it and expecting a good quality game. Perhaps a consequence of flopping is that it discourages youth from pursuing sports at a professional level. They may think that winning is not even about raw talent, heart, or how good you are at basketball, but rather about how good you are at acting.
We must keep the sea clean to allow the school of prospective athletes to swim into the game of purified basketball, a game played with integrity and passion. So quit flopping around.
Written by Brandon Lim
Edited by Sarah Gross
Image Source: media.247sports.com