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Featured Gallery, NBA / Dec 5, 2011 / 11:00 am

The NBA’s Top 10 Worst Floppers

Derek Fisher

Derek Fisher

It’s not like flopping is a cultural phenomenon solely owned by the NBA. It’s a disease that’s infiltrating every corner of professional sports. Take last weekend for example. Jerome Simpson, a 25-year-old wide receiver for Cincinnati, drew a 15-yard penalty against the Browns last Sunday by flopping harder than Rollerball. One little shove and boom, he was up, up and away, launching himself five feet off the ground, the largest jack rabbit anyone had ever seen. What made it even worse was the ref didn’t see it and yet still drew the flag.

It drew blog posts, conversations on ESPN shows, laughs and hate, and while it was one of the most heinous crimes of flopping we’ve ever seen, us basketball fans know how it is to deal with people like Simpson every day. Like nudity on television or swearing in music, we’re immune to it.

On an NFL field, a flop like that sticks out as much as rotten milk. In the NBA, we see so many of them it’s become routine. You’re considered a great player now if you can “draw the contact” or “force the official to make the call.” Yes, there is a certain aspect of talent to this: Great players have always found ways to get to the line. But inevitably, people start flopping to draw fouls, and it’s gotten so out of control that refusing to flop puts you at a disadvantage.

I’ve made up my mind. At some point early this season, I’m going to watch an entire game and see if I can track how many flops occur, how many draw fouls and how many go unseen. If only we still had Rasheed Wallace around to set us straight as he did two years ago when talking about Hedo Turkoglu: “They’ve got to know that he’s a [darn] flopper. That’s all Turkododo do. Flopping shouldn’t get you nowhere. He acts like I shot him.

“That’s not basketball, man. That’s not defense. That’s garbage, what it is. I’m glad I don’t have too much of it left.”

Last season, SI.com polled a number of NBA players in an effort to discover the league’s greatest flopper. While their list was based off of personal experience and subject to favoritism, I’ll try to do what I can to create the definitive list of NBA floppers. With that, check out my list on the next page of the 10 best/worst/most often prone to flop players in the game today.

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  • stillanetsfan

    even though he’s not in the NBA anymore the machine vujacic needs some flop-cred

  • control

    This article is 100x better than the last top 10 I read, some bullshit one about point guards (that included people who weren’t point guards).

    Flopping is the main reason I really toned down my watching of the nba. I hate the charge call, it’s done nothing but ruin defense and cause injuries.

    It’s disgusting that a guy like Valgina can actually collect an nba pay cheque, when he doesn’t really have any skills at all for the game of basketball, he just tosses his body around the court like a stuntman whenever someone looks at him harshly.

    As good as people say manu is, there’s no way I could respect him as a player due to his excessive flopping. When 90% of your game relies on the ref bailing you out, it’s impossible for me to really enjoy watching it.

    This whole article makes me realize how much I hate the reffing and pussy ass ruleset in the nba. Need to get some prison ball refs into this game to man it up.

  • Sean Sweeney

    @control Agree 100% about the charge call. As I said, I see nothing about it that positively affects the game. If there was no charge call, we’d see 10X the amount of contested shots at the rim, which is what everyone wants to see. We wouldn’t see 90s-style physicality, but at least guys would jump for blocks rather than falling backwards.

    Ironically, the charge actually creates more injuries than it stops.

  • control

    Sean

    I’ve NEVER heard of someone being injured from someone being overwhelmed physically like Shaq used to do downlow before the charge rule killed the nba. Sure guys used to get bullied, maybe a little unfairly, but if someone doesn’t want to be pushed around down in the post, they should get their asses into the gym and get their weight up. There are A LOT of people who have been hurt from a guy flopping while taking a charge, usually because you have a guy sliding into other guy’s knees.

    Watching these videos is exactly why I started hating on the nba. Hearing announcers say bullshit like “it’s the ref’s job to control the game” just makes it completely worse. Refs aren’t suppose to control the game, they are suppose to call violations of the rules, wtf?

  • Antouan

    How is Sasha not on this list??????

  • DPGC

    Gotta agree with #1. Derek Fisher is not only the biggest flopper in the NBA, but also the most annoying one. He bumps into players when he’s driving and bounces off them, while looking at the ref at the same time…

  • dbo

    How is Kevin Durant not on this list, it’s how he gets to the free throw line so much.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    This just makes me even more excited for the season to begin.

  • nao diga

    Eliminating charging as an offensive infraction is a great idea–if you love zone defenses and want to make sure almost nobody ever plays man-to-man. Without giving the defensive player the right to beat his man to the spot, the offense just has too much of an overwhelming advantage.

    I would agree with changing charging from a foul to a turnover. Just treat it like traveling, and give the ball to the other team.

  • How

    Without the charge rule, Dwade would easily average 50 points per game

  • nao diga

    @ control: “Before the charge rule ruined the NBA”???

    What? I’ve been watching the NBA for 40 years, and there have been people who were known for drawing charges since I started watching. Older Knicks fans will remember Dick Barnett, but there were many others.

    Removing charging as an infraction gives too much advantage to the player with the ball. If you do that, you won’t see many teams playing man-to-man defense; everybody will play zone.

    The answer is to make charging a simple turnover, like traveling, and stop making it a personal foul. That will still keep the guy with the ball honest, reward the defensive player for beating his man to the spot, but not contribute to a player fouling out.

  • Jpm418

    JJ Barea, I don’t think any player in today’s league flops
    more than him.

  • Sam

    The worst form of flopping in today’s game is the initiation of contact anywhere near the basket by the offensive player- instant foul on the defense.

    Instead of being rewarded for basketball skill, we now reward players for how fast they are.

  • Sam

    The other form of what I could consider ‘flopping” is the offensive rule where a player initiates contact and then lamely throws up the ball to get a shooting foul, sometimes 3 or 4 seconds after he took the initial contact.

  • control

    nao diga

    You are saying the only reason people play man to man defense is so they can draw charges? That is absolutely idiotic. If you’ve been watching for 40 years, then you should be able to remember when players in the post were able to make a move, ANY move, and not have their defender end up in the front row of the crowd, regardless of any contact.

    The change that I’m talking about is having people slide under a defender after the offensive player is in the air, which does nothing but cause injuries and disrupt the game, instead of having people challenging shots in the air. I’m also talking about the “defense” pussies like Anderson Valgina play, where when the player he is covering gets the ball, and he just falls down. How is that proper defense, or entertaining in any way?

    As a result of the pussification of the nba on defense, the offensive players have turned to fighting pussy with pussy, and that is why those bullshit fouls complained about above happen, with offensive players initiating contact and being bailed out by the refs.

  • Rainman

    “The Willow smith of the hardwood” ha! good one.

  • Promoman

    I’d have ranked Chris Paul ahead of Ginobili since Chris is probably the dirtiest big name player in the league today.

  • Big Island

    Fisher. Hands down. You have to call the charge, but they should start calling flops too. When you do the head snap fall, foul. They’ll stop flopping pretty quick.

  • Bojangles

    If I was a ref and someone tricked me into calling some bullshit foul, I would never give him a call again. That’s what I don’t get; if refs know D-Fish flops, why does it seem like he gets the benefit of the doubt on calls? He must give nice Christmas presents.

  • sans

    I ref and I distrust flopping players. Truth be told its faking a foul, and cause for a technical foul, but no one enforces that at a league level.

    But, Sean, if you take away charges then you take away the essence of defense. If you have a position, the offense has to avoid you, and if the offensive player gets past you, they’ve obtained a favorable position and the defense has to avoid contact with them (or else its a foul). You take away the charge, you take away verticality, lateral movement, and every tool a defender has to establish a position and play legal defense.

  • http://benjieramos@yahoo.com benjie ramos

    in pro hoops in the philippines, players who flop get a warning then a tech if they do it again. it’s a very subjective call but at least we don’t get any of those annoying shennanigans

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ sans – EXACTLY. The alternative to flopping is A.) for an offensive player to stop running into the defensive player (except for Bosh’s situation), or B.) for the defense to really have no place whatsoever.