NBA, SPORTS

Bucher: Intimidation a factor in NBA flopping epidemic

January 2, 2014

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Tuesday, Bleacher Report NBA national columnist Ric Bucher penned a column on the flopping epidemic in the NBA. He appeared on SiriusXM NBA Radio Wednesday to talk about the column, and criticized the way the NBA has handled the issue.

“They’re minimal at best,” Bucher said of the current penalties, which include a warning for a first-time offender and a $5,000 fine for each additional offense. “The thing that bothers me about all that is that now you have your stars, your most recognized guys, the guys that are supposed to be your ambassadors, are the ones that look like they’re trying to game the system. And when you add all that together, to me this has been a step in the wrong direction as far as the overall image of the NBA when it comes to flopping.”

Bucher agreed with SiriusXM NBA Radio host Sam Mitchell that to end the epidemic, penalties need to be instituted at the time of the offense, rather than off the court.

“Within the game, if you get away with it, you get away with it,” Bucher said. “You get to the line, you get your free throws, and then you gotta pay $5,000 later. You can look at some of these guys with what they’re making, and what that foul trouble can potentially mean for the other team – because it’s not just the two free throws that you might get out of that situation, or an and-one. But it gets you into the bonus quicker, it gets that player in foul trouble. One foul on a big man can change the entire complexion of the game. So as it stands right now, the price is worth what you’re getting. And if it did change, if the referees did have the opportunity to apply something right away, I do believe that could change something. And the referees may not always get it right, but just the fear that you might get a technical, or the fear that a referee might hit you with something, I believe, would encourage guys not to even think about trying to work the referees.

“And the other part is,” Bucher continued, “and I guess this is what got me, I’m seeing guys like Chris Paul and James Harden – they’re great players already. And they’re difficult enough to stop from getting to the hoop. And now, if they go, and if they get touched, and the referee doesn’t blow the whistle, now [the referee is] getting dagger eyes. Chris Paul or James Harden is trying to shame the referee into buying into this shamockery.”

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