NBA commissioner David Stern said Thursday that the NBA’s penalties for flopping are far too weak and aren’t enough to stop players from doing it. He then claimed he wasn’t sure if the league would do anything to strengthen its rules against the practice.
This season the NBA implemented a system to crack down on flopping. Players were fined $5,000 for a second offense during the regular season and $5,000 for a first offense in the playoffs. Players only received a warning for first offenses during the regular season.
Stern had the following to say about the flopping penalties:
“It isn’t enough. You’re not going to cause somebody to stop it for $5,000 when the average player’s salary is $5.5 million. And anyone who thought that was going to happen was allowing hope to prevail over reason.”
The commissioner, who will step down from his post on February 1, 2014, continued:
“We knew that flopping was going to be far from perfect. And we gather more attention because we were giving it more attention. But the point was to do it gently, look at all the flops – and there have been plenty – penalize the most egregious very gently.
“We could end that immediately if we decided to suspend players, but that might be a little bit draconian at the moment.”
Stern also said the NBA’s Board of Governors and Competition Committee will have further discussions about how to handle flopping before next season.
During the 2012-13 season there were 19 warnings for first offenses issued and five players were fined after the league determined they had flopped a second time. So far in the postseason six players have been fined.
The NBA certainly does have a flopping problem and Stern is right to be concerned about it. A $5,000 fine is not enough of a deterrent to get guys to stop, especially when the practice can be an effective way to draw fouls.