NBA Players’ Union Opposes Anti-Flopping Rule With $30,000 Fines

The National Basketball Association players’ union said it will contest a rule fining players as much as $30,000 for falling to the court with the intent of having a foul called on an opponent.

The so-called anti-flopping rule will be enforced beginning this season, NBA Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Stu Jackson said yesterday in a statement.

“Flops have no place in our game -- they either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call,” Jackson said.

The union said it would file a grievance with the league office and an unfair labor practice charge with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board.

“The NBA is not permitted to unilaterally impose new economic discipline against the players without first bargaining with the union,” Executive Director Billy Hunter said in a statement. “Any monetary penalty for an act of this type is inappropriate and without precedent in our sport or any other sport.”

The NBA’s board of governors and competition committee said any player determined by video review to have committed a flop will first receive a warning. Further violations will result in fines and possible suspension, with discipline starting at $5,000 for a second case and escalating to $10,000, $15,000 and $30,000.

Draw Fouls

The league defined flopping as a physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player.

“The primary factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact,” the NBA said in its statement.

The league said players moving to a spot to draw an offensive foul and minor physical reactions to contact won’t be treated as flops.

A player who violates the rule six times or more would be subject to increased fines and possibly a suspension, the league said. A separate set of penalties for playoff games will be announced later.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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