EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Had this been Lakers training camp circa 1990, the reaction to Wednesday's flopping news wouldn't have been so funny.
The most memorable flopper of all time, center Vlade Divac, was a major part of those teams, meaning his savings account and the team's fortunes would have been in serious jeopardy under the new rule being put in place. Yet the Lakers circa 2012 -- with anti-floppers like Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace and Dwight Howard on board and more than enough talent to forego any need for such shenanigans -- are clearly not concerned with the new lay of this flopper-unfriendly land.
The rule, according to an NBA release, stipulates that players who are found guilty of flopping after a video review will receive a warning on the first offense, a $5,000 fine on the second offense, followed by fines of $10,000, $15,000, and $30,000 for subsequent offenses. (The NBPA has since filed a grievance over the new rule.) Bryant, who turned a blind eye to the flopping ways of former teammate Derek Fisher during their years together, said he's glad to see the change.
"Shameless flopping is ... a chump move," Bryant said. "We're familiar with it. Vlade kind of pioneered it in the playoff series against Shaq [as a member of the Kings in the early 2000s].
"I'd love to see it have an impact on the game itself," Bryant said. "[In] international play, technical fouls are the penalty for it, you get free throws, get the ball back and that sort of thing. I like the rule, though."
World Peace wasn't as in favor of the rule as Bryant, saying the onus should be on the officials to swallow their whistle when players fake their way to the floor. He started noticing a change in the way flops were called within the last five years, and claimed that players are simply adjusting to the officials who so often reward them for their trickery.
World Peace even used a local reporter as a prop to make his point, running into him several times while being videotaped to demonstrate that a grown man shouldn't go flying after moderate contact.
"Back in the 80s, they didn't flop," World Peace said. "It's very annoying ... It's not fair to the guys who have worked on their body all these years and got stronger. It's not fair. Flopping is very stupid. It's not even basketball. I don't know who taught people how to flop. Just make the right call. It's that simple."
Howard wondered aloud if he might have the first culprit for commissioner David Stern to deal with, accusing new point guard, Steve Nash, of flopping during the morning's practice.
"Me and Steve had a play like that today," Howard said with his typical smile. "He flopped, and he got away with it, so he should be getting fined. I might fine him when I finish."
Nash, who claimed he wouldn't be found guilty because there was no video evidence of the play, said he was in favor of the new rule.
"To keep the game honest and to penalize guys for trying to trick the referees, I think that's fair," he said.