By Ben Golliver
One of the NBA's flop masters has been warned for executing his patented move.
Billups' flop occurred late in the fourth quarter of a Monday night win over the Jazz in Utah. With 1:14 remaining in the game and Utah leading 99-97, Billups attempted a three-pointer as Jazz guard Mo Williams closed out to defend the shot. Replays showed Williams went by Billups to the left without initiating any contact, but Billups stuck out his left arm, contacting Williams, before letting his legs give way so he would fall to the ground. Referee Dick Bavetta called a defensive foul on Williams, awarding Billups three free throws. Billups hit two of them, tying the game, and the Clippers wouldn't trail again after guard Chris Paul made a lay-up on Los Angeles' next possession. Los Angeles escaped from Energy Solutions Arena with the 105-104 road win.
This type of flop, one that Billups has perfected over the years, was specifically called out in the NBA’s official video introducing its flopping policy. In the video, Heat guard Dwyane Wade was called out for trying to draw a defensive foul in a similar manner. In that play, Wade initiated contact with his leg rather than his arm.
"After releasing the jump shot, the shooter, No. 3 in the white uniform, extends his right leg attempting to draw a defensive foul," the video's narrator explains. "While there is marginal contact on the play, the flail and spin to the floor by the offensive player is an over-embellishment and it's inconsistent with marginal contact."
Billups becomes the seventh player warned under the new system, joining Nets forward Gerald Wallace, Rockets forward Patrick Patterson, Nets forward Reggie Evans, Thunder guard Kevin Martin, Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea and Cavaliers guard Donald Sloan. Wallace and Evans have each been fined $5,000 as repeat violators.
Billups will now be subject to fines if they are deemed to have violated the policy again. The sliding fine scale looks like this.
Violation 2: $5,000 fine
Violation 3: $10,000 fine
Violation 4: $15,000 fine
Violation 5: $30,000 fine
For a sixth (or any subsequent) violation of the rule, the player will be subject to such discipline as the League determines is reasonable under the circumstances, including an increased fine and/or suspension.
Billups, 36, recently returned from an Achilles injury and is averaging 7.3 points and 2.3 assists per game for the Clippers. He is on the books for $4.0 million this season. Video via YouTube user memoismoney