Bucks’ Gooden: Anti-Flop Rule ‘Takes Away From The Game’

ST. FRANCIS, Wis. – In theory, eradicating any sort of trickery or skullduggery from NBA games should qualify as a good thing. Keeping it genuine is just another form of keeping it real. So if the league’s new anti-flopping rule wrings out the chicanery of defenders seeking phony charging fouls and turnovers by pretending to absorb bogus contact, the product as competition and entertainment will be better for it, right?

Not so fast. There is the little matter of unintended consequences, which came up during a visit to the Milwaukee Bucks’ training camp Thursday.

Veteran forward Drew Gooden doesn’t like the rule, which is being added for 2012-13 to discourage players from flopping, a tactic the NBA says is intended to “either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call.” That’s how Stu Jackson, NBA executive vice president of baskeball operations put it when announcing the rule and the ladders of penalties – a warning for the first violation, a $30,000 fine for the fifth, with undetermined punishment for a half dozen or more.

But Gooden pointed out what he saw as a couple of flaws in the rule.

“I think the guys who are going to be in trouble are the guys who lead the league in [taking legit] charges,” Gooden said after Milwaukee’s morning workout. “Ersan [Ilyasova] had a play yesterday where Ekpe [Udoh] was about to take a real hard power-dribble and he anticipated it. He stood on his heels, he took contact and it was like a no-call. Is that a warning? Is that a violation? That’s gonna be the question.”

Gooden then demonstrated a classic flop, hurling backward at the slightest touch of contact. “If I just go like this, like Anderson Varejao,” he said, “different story. … You see a guy take one dribble in the post and a guy acts like he just got blown up.”

Here’s another consequence: Instead of trying to fool referees, this system of day-after penalties will confirm that last night’s refs actually did get snookered.

Gooden added: “The refs should be fined if they call a flop as an offensive foul, how ’bout that? If they get fooled, they should get fined or they should get a warning.”

As a 10-year veteran, Gooden has seen a long list of new rules and “points of emphasis” added. Typically, the learning curve in the preseason is steep. Players and coaches adjust to changes in interpretations, but preseason games can be whistle-crazy affairs while they do.

“I think we’re making too many rules each year,” Gooden said. “It seems like the last five years, it’s been a new rule every year. Technical fouls are up. Hand gestures to the ref. It’s taking away from the game.”

Gooden – who said he supports the National Basketball Players Association’s plan to file a grievance contesting the rule and fine schedule – happens to play for a team that values the sort of feisty defense that can lead to legit charges drawn. Under coach Scott Skiles, Gooden, Ilyasova, Mike Dunleavy, Luc Mbah a Moute and former Bucks center Andrew Bogut frequently have wound up on their backs after beating a man to his spot and taking the hit.

Skiles wasn’t interested in discussing the rule and its ramifications. “It doesn’t really matter what I think,” he said.

But isn’t it needed, some method to get the phony flops out of the game? Said the Bucks coach: “No.”

25 Comments

  1. soccersux says:

    Goalllllll!!! Thats wat u get when u bring all these europeon players there all huge soccer fans hence big floppers too

  2. RUKidding me says:

    @Ron

    You are really confused

    “Taking charges to me is not true defense that is bail out defense.” Anticipating the direction of your opponent and beating him to the spot, ensuring contact in the middle of chest is in fact great defense. In fact, that is what defense is all about, getting in the way of your opponent attempts at getting closer to the basket.

    “But if a guy is trying to get around you and you cut him off and then fall in his path and get your hips and legs out in front of him this is not basketball that is soccer or hockey.” No it is basketball and it’s an infringement of the rules and it’s called a ‘blocking’ foul. Also such instances are infringements in soccer and hockey too.

    The flopping rule (on the defensive side) is to try and remove those times when the opponent does get appropriate positioning, but the offensive player is equally up to the task and changes direction or pulls up short of making significant contact with the defender (this could be face to face, or back to the basket). The reaction of the defender is then to flop to try and ‘fool’ the ref that there was more contact than there truly was. It is this secondary reaction by some defenders that is trying to be limited.

    “Now I do agree that they should not take money from them. And if they do only $100 dollars or so. The fines are another way for the NBA to take their money. I think that is what the players should be more concerned about not the actual new rule.” It’s not about taking money from players. It’s about enforcing a rule that is decided upon after the conclusion of the game. Post-game decisions cannot be resolved by issuing a technical foul now can it. So fining players is a feasible deterrent and it has to be a meaningful amount ($100 is not that amount).

    People are forgetting that these decisions will be evaluated by experienced referees with the benefits of multiple camera vantage points and slow motion replay. I’m sure that it would have to be a clear cut case for them to conclude that is was a flop. Put it this way, if you could determine it from the comfort of your couch while watching the slow mo replays during the broadcast, then the review panel will surely see it that way too.

    Just sit there and think a little bit about this people and stop the over dramatization. If this rule comes to fruition then the people who will be in charge of this will know what they are doing.

  3. NoMoreSoccer!!! says:

    With this new rule Manu Ginobli’s career is over….. bahahahahaha

  4. Ron says:

    You need to become a better defender…and not look for easy bail-out flop calls. Taking charges to me is not true defense that is bail out defense. It goes down has good defense but it is not.

    Stay in front of your mind and anticipate where he is going and beat him to the spot he wants to go and with lateral quickness get there first. Varejo is never there first. Shane Battier is okay in taking charges. Bogut is very good and so is Ersan and Boris Diaw. Many others flop.

    Don’t just fall down in front of him the minute he makes a dribble forward or sideways and get tangled up under his feet. That is lame.

    The Bucks have a lot of players like that and they rely on taking charges. Some of them are good at taking them when a guy is out of control and they are planted in position.

    Now if a guy is out of control which many of them are then that is fine. But if a guy is trying to get around you and you cut him off and then fall in his path and get your hips and legs out in front of him this is not basketball that is soccer or hockey.

    Guys like Mbah a Moute rarely take charges because he is almost always in position. Only slow footed guys have to flop.

    Now I do agree that they should not take money from them. And if they do only $100 dollars or so. The fines are another way for the NBA to take their money. I think that is what the players should be more concerned about not the actual new rule.

  5. dattebayo says:

    If that stops whatever the Flippers had going last year with Evans being the best Actor since Robert Horry, good. If that stops Lebron from accentuating every little contact on drives and acting like he got murdered even after he had gotten the foul call (flagrant on Chandlers pick in Game 1, please, what an actor), good. If that stops CP3 and Rondo from always looking for contact and then falling to get a foul call, good. If that stops players from snapping back their head like they just got elbowed even though they did not, good.
    If they start fining players for weak charges, that are legitimate fouls, bad. If they start fining players who fight in the post for position, bad. If they start fining players who are shoved in midair and can’t keep their balance, bad.
    I hope they can find a good middle like what they had going with the technicals starting and ending the season in 2010-2011. The Celtics had 3 Ts in a game against Miami in the playoffs which were anomalies and just epic bad calls. Other than that the refs adjusted really well to the “Respect the Game” ruling they brought in to stop players from constantly complaining (even though they still do). I hope they don’t start punishing good defense teams that take legitimate charges in every game.

  6. C Ray says:

    You guys do know that flopping doesnt only consist of charges. Offensive players embelish theircontact to get fouls and flagrant calls.All of that needs to be cleaned up. Im tired of seeing paul pierce dribbling down the court like a retard trying to draw cheap fouls. I think its a good rule.

    • Streets03 says:

      OMG Thank you! I am sooo sick and tired of Rajon Rondo flopping to the floor everytime he gets the ball…it is absolutely ridiculous I can’t even stand watching Celtics games. I have seen him on many occasions flying to the floor when there was no contact whatsoever…players like Rondo ruin the game!

  7. Belizeboy says:

    Spoken like a true FLOPPER!

  8. ball-akbol says:

    I think the referees are the ones who should be responsible and accountable regarding this new rule. If and when a player flops, its up to the officials to discern whether it is real contact or flop. It’s a “skill” being developed by the players to sell contacts and if the referees are the one falling for the trickery, then they should be the on held responsible. Although it is quite annoying for any player to see his competitor acting it out to sell calls, I guess it is really a part of the game. One does not simply become good in flopping because it is also a “skill” or “talent” to be able to fool the refs.

  9. AntiFlopMiester says:

    I agree there needs to be a rule against flopping, but what happens if a call is made that changes the outcome of a game. Then it gets reviewed and it turns out that it wasn’t a flop.
    I believe and this is why we have 3 refs now and not 2 that they should be able to tell whether or not someone is flopping.
    Let’s be honest if a crowd of 20 or 30 thousand can see…..

  10. Robert says:

    I remember back in the 1970’s when new rules were put in place to keep Black players from dominating White players. Referee’s were allowed to make judgement calls such as “charging” which meant a player could stand in the way and get run over rather than try to play good defense and block the players shot. Colleges did not allow players to dunk because Black players jumped higher than White players (aka David Thompson/Monte Towe created the “ally-opp”). “Flopping” was born out of the need for White players to be more competitive due to their defensive weaknesses. How can the NBA change the culture that allowed “charging” and “flopping” as a means of playing defense to compensate for the lack of talent by White players?

    • Celt21 says:

      Well that’s thought. Technically speaking.

    • dubldeez says:

      It’s about balance in the game. Basketball is a sport which requires a measure of skill and finnesse (like soccer) but where strength and measured aggression (more akin to football or rugby) is also rewarded. If a player (regardless of race or color) uses his superior strength to literally shunt a defender out of the way and no call is made then the sport is essentially becoming something it is not supposed to be. It takes guts to take a charge properly. just play slam-ball and be done with it. In the modern game and in this day and age rules like this are added/removed to ensure that the game is played as it should be, with a combination of skill and measured aggression, not to give a racial group more/less of an advantage.

  11. CD says:

    Only a chump would cry about the new flopping rule. Drew retire or shutup! let’s play some ball!

  12. Owenhart says:

    I wonder if this anit-flop rule was implemented on Shaq era… :-)

  13. JRW says:

    I love the new rule. Watch a game of soccer and you’ll see why the league had to do something about this before it went too far, hate players like Varejao who try and milk contact

  14. LittleDog says:

    If you watch games from the eighties the refs called charges all the time where the defensive player didn’t hit the ground, so that’s not something that’s set in stone, it’ s an adjiustment and I think the NBA is right to try to push the league back in that direction — the direction of natural basketball. Where I agree with Gooden is in rules that make the adjustment in the other direction, such as the rules about technical fouls and flagrant fouls, which take emotion (which is a nearly impossible thing to actually do, and to curb its manifestations only seems to take big players out of big games) from the game.

  15. Chester says:

    i think drew makes some good points. flopping has to be curbed for sure. it just turns potential nba fans away seeing the softness, just like diving in soccer. especially here in Australia it isn’t looked at in a very positive way

    • Simdawg says:

      He has a good point. Sometimes the only difference between taking a charge and a no call is the defensive players strength and/or willingness to fall to the floor after the contact. Just because a player accentuates the contact it doesn’t necessacarily mean the offensive player didnt make illegal contact and it shouldn’t be called a foul. Of course the blatant flopping and ‘dupeing’ refs into making calls that were flat out not there needs to be managed, but carefully.

      Time and again new rules are made that benefit the offensive to produce a better quality of basketball in terms of ‘watchability’ but defence needs to be rewarded. Overall though the NBA referees are the best in the world for a sport that can be very hard to officiate.