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Wizards applaud new flopping rule

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Wizards applaud new flopping rule

There’s nothing like taking money out of a player’s pocket to get his attention.
 
That’s what the NBA promises to do this season when its new flopping rule goes into effect.
 
Frustrated and embarrassed by players embellishing contact under the basket, the NBA will begin fining offending players for flagrant flopping.
 
On the first offense players will get a warning, followed by fines of $5,000 for a second violation; $10,000 for a third; $15,000 for a fourth; and $30,000 for a fifth. Six or more offenses could lead to a suspension.
“Flops have no place in our game,” NBA vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson said in a statement. “Accordingly, both the Board of Governors and the competition committee felt strongly that any player who the league determines, following video review, to have committed a flop should, after a warning, be given an automatic penalty.”

So how do the Wizards feel about the crackdown on flopping?

“We were just talking about it,” said Wizards center Emeka Okafor. “There are a few floppers out there who probably won’t like it. I’m not going to name names, but we’re happy that it’s in effect.
 
“For your more physical player, like Nene and I, flopping tends to be a bigger issue, so I think we’ll benefit from that. It just makes the game cleaner.”
 
Wizards coach Randy Wittman says he’s not putting too much emphasis on the NBA’s crackdown on the league’s biggest offenders.
 
“Officiating is officiating,” Wittman said. “Flopping, I think, is the biggest issue. I don’t get too much into worrying about the officials and I don’t want our guys getting mixed up in that either. There really isn’t anything new.  It’s the same old stuff since [basketball inventor James] Naismith.”
 
So who’s the worst flopper in the NBA? Some say it’s the Heat’s Lebron James; others say Utah’s Raja Bell or the Heat’s Shane Battier.
The Wizards? As you might expect, they’re keeping those opinions to themselves.

“This game is an art, so to actually take that part away, I think the game needs it,” said forward Martell Webster. “It gives the game character. I personally don’t like flopping, but on the other end of the spectrum, when you do it, sometimes it can have a big impact.”
 
Wizards forward Trevor Ariza said he thinks the new rules on flopping might put too much responsibility on referees to call fouls.
“I don’t know how they’re going to be able to tell if somebody’s flopping or if they’re not flopping, but hopefully it does help the game out, make the game cleaner,” Ariza said. “But I don’t know how it’s going to work.”

Veteran big man Brian Cook agreed, saying it will be tough for referees to determine real fouls from embellished ones.

“I’m a big guy taking charges and things like that,” he said. “I guess they want to see real contact and guys not faking it. I think it will help the game out a lot. I think for TV it will help a lot — guys aren’t getting called with those fake fouls.”

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Wizards vs. Sixers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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Wizards vs. Sixers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick and the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 7 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Another test

The Wizards continue their difficult stretch coming out of the All-Star break against a very dangerous Sixers team. Philly has proven to be very streaky this season, but right now they are rolling. They come to Washington having won their last seven games dating back to Feb. 6 when they beat the Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center. The Wizards are also playing well, having won eight of their last 11, despite their loss to the Hornets on Friday.

The Sixers are currently seventh in the East and appear on track to make the playoffs. If they keep rising the standings, they could meet the Wizards, who are currently fourth, in the first round. 

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Season series

Speaking of the playoffs, this game could end up looming large for postseason seeding. The Sixers have won two of the three matchups between these teams this year. If they win on Sunday, they will take the season series and own the tiebreaker over Washington.

If the two teams tie head-to-head and end up with the same record at the end of the season, it will then come down to conference record. The Sixers currently have a better record against East teams than the Wizards. But if they can beat Philly this time, the Wizards will have a chance to secure the conference tiebreaker down the stretch of this season.

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

Sixers are tough to guard

The Wizards have found out the hard way this season just how difficult it can be to match up with the Sixers, who are led by two emerging stars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Embiid is 7-foot-1 with rare abilities to stretch the floor and beat opponents off the dribble. Simmons is 6-foot-10, yet can lead the fastbreak with rare speed and vision to find his teammates with crisp passes.

The mobility for their size is almost unmatched and it has not been easy for the Wizards to answer. In their last meeting earlier this month, Simmons had 15 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals. Embiid had 27 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. The Wizards have to try to limit those guys while also dealing with other challenges like Robert Covington, Dario Saric and J.J. Reddick.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKING

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

PODCAST: WIZARDS MAKE A FREE AGENT SIGNING

The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

RELATED: DURANT MAKES HUGE DONATION TO PG COUNTY SCHOOLS

Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS