HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — 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?