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Report: NBA Discussing Technical FT Penalty for Flops; Could Trial at Summer League

Mike Chiari

The NBA is reportedly considering instituting a new rule in an effort to prevent flopping by defenders on drives to the basket.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the NBA Competition Committee is discussing the possibility of awarding technical free throws to the opposing team if a player flops.

Charania noted that the NBA could test the rule in Summer League games starting in July.

Flopping has long been an issue in the NBA, especially on plays that feature an offensive player driving into the paint toward the basket, making it difficult for officials to decipher between a charge or a blocking foul.

Flops are also prevalent when players get tied up underneath the basket when jockeying for a rebound, when trying to fight through a screen and when there is minimal contact in an attempt to make it look more serious and draw a foul.

During the Los Angeles Lakers' victory over the Golden State Warriors in the second round of this year's playoffs, L.A. benefited from getting to the free-throw line with great regularity.

Per Angelina Martin of NBC Sports Bay Area, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr accused the Lakers of flopping and called for the league to do something about it, saying:

"I think, to me, what I've learned coaching in FIBA ... There's a flop rule. If a referee deems a player has flopped, they just call it a technical foul, and it's pretty penalizing. And so the flopping has basically been eliminated from FIBA, and we have the ability to do the same thing in the NBA if we want.

"I think we should address it, because the players are so smart, and the entire regular season is about gamesmanship and trying to fool the refs. And this is how it's been for a while, and it's up to us as a league. Do we want to fix this? ... These are all things that are my personal plea to the NBA. I think we can do better in terms of cleaning up the flopping. In the meantime, I give the Lakers credit for the plays that they've been able to sell."

If the NBA does employ an anti-flopping rule, it would not only be similar to the FIBA international rule, but also reminiscent of a rule in the NHL.

In the NHL, if a player is deemed to have exaggerated in an effort to draw a penalty, he can be called for a two-minute penalty for "embellishment" or "diving."

While embellishment still happens sometimes, it isn't a major issue in the NHL because of the rule. It stands to reason that flopping would decrease in the NBA as well if technical fouls start to be called.


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