If Chris Webber, who spent years playing with the man often credited with bringing acting to the NBA, is criticizing how much a team flops, there are problems. Webber partnered with Vlade Divac. He knows the intricacies of flopping and ref-goading. It became a perfect marriage then to have C-Webb call last night’s Game 4 between the Clippers and Grizzlies for TNT because that might’ve been the most blatant prolongation of flopping we’ve seen all year. It was ugly. It was bad. At times, it was downright embarrassing and frustrating. The Clippers’ star players are so good flopping should never come into it.
“I think Blake Griffin is really playing hard and you have to love his effort tonight but I would caution him to be careful with flopping. I’ve played in these playoffs. The teams that were known for floppers do not get respect,” Webber said on air last night after one especially egregious act from L.A.’s power forward.
Trust in Webber. He played on teams that flopped and didn’t get respect (Hello, Sacramento!). Griffin feels the most heat when fans murmur about Flop City, and took shots throughout the season from other disgusted players (Hello, DeMarcus Cousins!). But in reality, I’ve always thought Chris Paul was even worse. He’s the premier flopper in the league, which is doubly annoying after watching him eviscerate Memphis in the fourth quarter and overtime last night. He’s a future Hall of Fame point guard, the world’s best at his position, and the only reason why the Clippers should see the second round. Yet you can watch him four or five times a game dribbling up the court, running in front of people and falling down. At one point last night during a dead ball, Paul knocked the ball out of Dante Cunningham‘s hands, then flew backwards, snapping his head when the Grizzlies’ forward reacted, and somehow Paul drew A TECHNICAL on Cunningham (In fairness, it was ruled as a double-tech). The ref was right there, literally between the two players. How this happens I have no idea, and neither do many NBA players. Some of them like Jarrett Jack tweeted their frustration last night.
I’ve watched flopping fester for years, watched as the charge call ruined an aspect of pro basketball. It’s all so ingrained in the NBA culture, I’m not sure it’ll ever leave. Webber was never considered the toughest player, but he looks like Dirty Harry Callahan compared to many of today’s “tough guys.”
By itself, flopping is a problem. But when it endangers the reputation of one of the greatest point guards of all time, and perhaps the most athletically gifted power forward we’ve ever seen, then flopping becomes something much more.
Do you think the Clippers flop too much?
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