Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Report: NBA considering technical fouls for obvious flops

Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 23: Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics argues a call with referee Ed Malloy in the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on February 23, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Getty Images

The NBA tried shaming players into not flopping by releasing video and publicly warning/fining them for the action. That didn’t work, players continue to embellish contact and take other steps to sell calls.

That has led the NBA competition committee to consider something more serious: Technical fouls for flops. So reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

This will be greeted by a chorus of “halleluiah” from NBA fans.

Be careful what you wish for.

It’s smart of the league to try this out at Summer League and, likely, the G-League before considering bringing to the NBA level. There will be kinks to be worked out, particularly regarding video review.

However, the real devil is in the details. What this rule would do is have referees trying to judge intent. What fans often want called a flop — the embellishment of perceived minor contact — is something officials may be slow to penalize because it can be tough to say with certainty whether a player flopped vs. was just off balance when the contact happened, or maybe the contact was legit. The league will set the bar to hand out technicals very high. Also, no way a technical and a free throw is being given for a flop without a video review, and that will slow the game down. The league would like fewer video reviews, not more.

This idea not a panacea.

But it would be welcome if the kinks can be worked out, at least as a deterrent.