Wizards Notebook

NBA Is Cracking Down on Flopping

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By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 30, 2008

The NBA informed teams this week that fines will be assessed to players who go too far in exaggerating fouls next season.

The practice, known as "flopping," has increasingly become a point of contention among coaches and players in recent seasons. Following his team's Game 5 loss to Boston on Wednesday night, Detroit forward Rasheed Wallace criticized the officials because they allowed the Celtics to get away with flopping on several key plays.

"You saw them calls," said Wallace, who was fined $25,000 for his comments. "The cats are flopping all over the floor and they're calling that [expletive]. That ain't basketball out there. It's entertainment."

Among the game's most adept floppers are Cleveland forward Anderson Varejao, San Antonio guard Manu GinĂ³bili and Chicago forward Andres Nocioni.

During the Cavaliers' first-round playoff victory over the Wizards, Varejao was involved in a play that illustrated just how prevalent flopping has become.

In Game 2, Varejao moved into a screen set by Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas, who took the contact and dramatically fell to the floor. A foul was called on the stunned Varejao, who looked as if he couldn't believe that his favorite technique had been used against him.

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said he believes it will be difficult to distinguish flops from legitimate fouls. "It's tough to just relegate that to something that can be a monetary fine," Jackson said. "I do agree that it has come to a rather weird state in our game, where it's getting to look more and more like European soccer." Noting that many practitioners are from Europe, Jackson added: "I think that if you fine them in euros, you'd find out that it would really end quickly."

Lakers forward Lamar Odom disagrees with the crackdown. "Taking their money for trying to get a call?" Odom said. "To some coaches, flopping is playing hard and smart. If I can get the ref to call something that maybe wasn't there -- every good player does it with the ball."

The league has not yet determined how much the fines will be or whether players can be assessed larger penalties for repeat offenses.

Wizards Eyeing Lawson

The Wizards, who hold the 18th and 48th picks in the June 26 draft, are watching some prospects at the annual pre-draft camp in Orlando this week and will begin holding individual workouts at Verizon Center on Thursday.

Among the players who have already scheduled a workout with the Wizards is point guard Ty Lawson, an early entry candidate from North Carolina.

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