(Republished from June 10, 2014)
Flopping has become an unfortunate part of the game of basketball over the past few years in the NBA with players starting to use the shady tactic more and more to bait referees into making bad calls.
Even though the NBA has started fining players for flopping, it hasn’t taken the tactic out of the game. Players continue to flop on a nightly basis with some laughable attempts that resemble diving in soccer overseas.
Vlade Divac, arguably the one player that made flopping in the NBA popular, recently spoke about the league getting rid of it entirely. Divac went on to claim the reason he started flopping during his time with the Sacramento Kings was because of Shaquille O’Neal, according to Brett Pollakoff of Pro Basketball Talk:
“Whenever you overdo something, it’s time to stop it. So I think it’s a great decision by the NBA. But everyone is saying that’s my rule; that’s not my rule. That’s Shaq’s rule.”
During the Los Angeles Lakers’ three straight championships from 2000 to 2002, the Kings were arguably the team’s biggest rival. Outside of the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2000 Western Conference Finals and the San Antonio Spurs at different times during the Kobe-Shaq era, no team gave the Lakers more of a challenge than Divac’s Kings.
Shaq and Divac had their battles in the paint, but the former Lakers center was no match for the new face of the franchise. Divac struggled to stay on the floor with Shaq getting him into foul trouble every single game they faced the Lakers.
With that being said, it isn’t all that surprising that he’d flop to influence calls in his favor. Obviously, Divac’s tactics didn’t work well enough to propel the Kings past the Lakers during that era, but Sacramento definitely gave them a run for their money during their three-peat campaign.
As for the game today, flopping seems to occur every night in the NBA with prominent players like Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Manu Ginobili, Chris Paul, and even former Laker Derek Fisher using it to get an advantage.
Until the penalties are made more severe, flopping in the NBA will continue to be used by players in order to trick the refs into making questionable calls on a nightly basis.