Van Gundy No Fan Of Flop Rule

Stan Van Gundy has a history of opposing the rule of law in regards to the rules handed down by the NBA. He did so as coach of the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic and still does in his new role as an analyst and partner of the NBC Sports Network.

The latest mandate to draw Van Gundy’s ire is the league’s new flopping rule. Van Gundy told Sports Illustrated‘s Richard Deitsch he thinks the flop rule will flop terribly in both its aim and execution:

“I think the attempt to try to address it is a good thing but I don’t see the rule having much effect,” said Van Gundy, the former Magic coach who is transitioning this season to broadcasting with NBC Sports Network and Dial Global radio. “First of all, I think the only ones that you will see penalized are very, very egregious flops. I’d be surprise if it even got to one a game, and I think anybody who watches basketball knows that there is far more than one every game.

“And I don’t even think this is the NBA’s fault. I just think it’s impossible the way the rule is written where they can ‘crack down’ on it. I think they will make sort of a cursory attempt, and make it look like they are trying to do something about it.”

Van Gundy did exonerate the league to a degree, admitting that it’s nearly impossible to crack down on the problem with the way the rule is written. But do you think he has a point?

Is this rule really going to do anything to slow down some of the acting that goes on by defenders looking to draw offensive fouls or offensive players going a bit Hollywood every time they get touches by defender?

Only two players have been officially warned so far, Timberwolves guard JJ Barea (video above) and Cavaliers guard Donald Sloan. Whatever you think of the rule, its mere presence seems to have cooled off some of the players who are prone to embellishing contact one way or another.

Van Gundy’s greater point, and one that we agree with, is that this is a judgement call that needs to be left to the men in stripes every night. If we’re entrusting the officials to manage the action on the court, why not let them do their jobs and make this call?

More from Van Gundy:

“To me it is pretty simple but they won’t do it this way: Leave it to the referees. If you just told referees, ‘Look, you have a guy flopping and don’t give him any calls, period.’ That would stop it in a heartbeat. It’s natural selection. Once it does not work anymore, it’ll disappear. A $500 fine will not have much of an effect. What will have an effect is a guy not getting any calls anymore. Once he stops getting calls, all of sudden the behavior disappears. But they don’t want to handle it that way so I don’t think anything will really come off this.”

Time will tell.

But the issue Van Gundy raises is a valid one. Is this a decision that should have been left to the officials on the court instead of the ones in the board room?


  1. VJ says:

    I agree with Van Gundy’s comments of the NBA telling the refs not to call this players flops. Most players will not flop in a finals game because of some silly 1/1000 of their paycheck fine. If they had to choose between a championship and saving $10k, most players will flop and choose the championship.

    What the NBA has to do is internally give players a point for every flop after video review. Then provide that information to the refs and tell the refs, “hey these guys flop, he has 20 points in only 5 games, a missed call for this player is preferred since he flops an average of 4 times per game. Its better to miss a real call on this player than to give him the flop, and you the referee will not be penalized for the missed call.”

    As soon as the nba does the above, all flopping will cease. Natural selection as van gundy says.

  2. Michael Bromley says:

    I like the idea of the refs calling them through the game, but like most people have said, it’s tough to call accurately in real time. So how about this? If there are any questionable ‘flops’ through a quarter, they are reviewed by the refs at the end of each quarter, and a technical foul is issued. The only problem would then be the 4th qtr. maybe a post-game review of the 4th and a technical issued to the player. This obviously wouldn’t help the score as the game would be over, but the current rule doesn’t either. But I believe the players would fear a technical more than a flop call, as it is an automatic fine and the points accumulate, leading to suspension. Thoughts people??,

  3. jowey says:

    What the league need to do is add a fourth referee who is only function is to review individuals fouls on a monitor. Then, further in the game, or after a time-out, then can apply the corresponding penalties.

  4. MG says:

    I don’t understand why the NBA didn’t just implement FIBA rules at this point. I’m a referee in Australia, and we can dish out technicals for flopping. It’s considered to be unsportsmanlike behaviour, and thus, a punishable offence. Stan has it right, and it’s not often that I say that.

  5. Pgulinp1 says:

    ray allen winning shot flop after he made shot? lol ofc they will never say that superstars act and flopp…

  6. GL says:

    Replace Shaq with Stan Van Gundy. SVG has insights and is pretty funny.

  7. jmndodge says:

    Very bad decision for the NBA… flopper’s pay the price in their body, and detract from the game, but those willing to play defense, will attempt to establish position and take the charge. If they are late, its a foul and they are called for it (usually end up on the a__ as well, but if they make it in time its a charge, Its an important part of the game, we already bought protection for the players by making they stay so far away from the basket — the rules were fine… if the officials were missing the calls, instruct them, but their judgment calls are part of basketball.

  8. BIGBOY11 says:


  9. BoltUp says:

    Even though Barea was given a “warning” THE CALL WENT AGAINST FREDETTE !!! You can clearly see Barea hook Jimmer’s arm, pull it into him, and act like he had been hit by Mike Tyson. Van Gundy is right in saying all the refs have to do is be aware of who the major floppers are, and don’t even give them the benefit of the doubt.

  10. Me says:

    It’s not possible to spot most of the flops in real-time. You need a slomo to spot it, and who wants to put a halt to the game after almost every foul to look at the video if it was a flop ?

    However, there shouldn’t be punishment fees but suspensions. First one a warning, second one a game half, third to five one game suspension, and so on. Of course only for CLEAR flops, if Perkins runs into JJ Barea, his body will fly across the court even without that one exaggerating it. However, a 240lb man falling like hit with a steel rod when Barea touches him, that’s a flop.

  11. 3pak says:

    I agree with Stan, Its a good thing attempting to address the issue, however this rule isnt going to work because players arnt worried about the consequences because they are superstars, ie kobe, lebron..etc. The only way to fix this problem is to give a warning on the first offense, a week suspension on the second, and then an entire year suspension without pay for the third offense, this way only the real players are playing, and floppers dont ruin the game, whos with me on this one???

  12. Love says:

    Hell Naw..!

  13. Vijay says:

    I agree with one part of it totally, if you stop giving guys calls, the action will disappear. Players aren’t stupid, it makes no sense falling to the floor and risk injury for nothing. I agree with the league in trying to arrest this problem before it gets further out of hand, much how fifa addressed flopping in the penalty box. It should be known as the “Vlade Divac” rule, the originator of the flop.

    To be honest, I prefer when nba players played a mans game, players were hit and they stood their ground, in other words there was banging in the post, screens were screens and so on. Now you barely touch another player and guys are falling as though they were hit my a semi truck and a plane. It’s really ridiculous.

    Fines will help but with the money these guys make, it won’t arrest the problem totally.

  14. I think in order to crack down on flopping, the refs should just call a technical foul when a player flops. In my opinion, flopping is the equivalent of “showing up the officials.” That way, 2 technicals & you are ejected from the game & flopping will give the other team & free throw & possession. That would be the best way to handle it. If they handle flopping while the game is going on, and it could ultimately influence the outcome of the game itself, then you will start to see the flopping dissipate. Until then, I think the floppers are just saving their flops (and their money) till playoff time.

    • amitpal says:

      Its hard to telll whats a flop ans whats not when the games r live. Thats why its a problem. Otherwise if the refs knew it was a flop during the game then of course they wouldnt call It. So u cant give them a techinacal foul. I like gundy way but lets do both. First the refs need to know whos a flopper and whos not something they should have known for a long time now.then If a guy keeps floppong stop giving him the benefit of the doubt. Unless its an obvious foul dont call the foul. After a while they will get annoyed with this and stop. I donr mind this fine rule either. I think its a start but there r to many loopholes in it right now.

    • BBall Fan says:

      Totally agree, what is a fine going to do to millionaires, nothing. A call was made, possible foul shot taken and a lost of possession, game has now been changed, determining after that fact will not take any points made back from a free throw.
      Example.. Flop called as a foul, team down by 1, makes two free throw, now up by one, team goes and wins the game by one point, foul is reviewed, determined it was a flop, fine issued. Are the points taken away and now the team loses, no..the flop still changed the outcome of the game. Call a tech, second flop in the game, you get tossed. Player might think next time before he goes for an Emmy instead of just playing ball