By Ben Golliver
The NBA officially warned Rockets center Omer Asik for violating its anti-flopping policy on Tuesday.
Asik's flop occurred early in the third quarter of a 134-126 home loss to the Spurs at the Toyota Center on Monday. Asik battled for rebounding position with Spurs center Tim Duncan. Duncan was basket-side and was about to secure the ball when Asik, reaching over and past him, quickly fell backwards as if he had been elbowed in the head. Duncan was called for a loose ball foul. Replays indicated that Duncan's elbow made minimal contact with Asik underneath his shoulder area and that the head flail was completely unnecessary. Video of the flop can be seen here on NBA.com.
This flop was similar to one performed by Hawks forward Josh Smith in the league’s official video introducing its flopping policy. During that play, Smith, attempting to grab a defensive rebound, fell quickly to the ground while fighting for a rebound with Celtics forward Paul Pierce after getting pushed in the back.
“As the highlighted defensive player prepares for a potential rebound, he feels slight contact from his opponent in his back,” the narrator explains. “He then falls forward and collapses to the floor in an obvious over-embellishment. The actions of the player in the white uniform are inconsistent with the level of contact on the play and is designed to draw an unearned loose ball foul on his opponent. Again, this flop will be penalized.”
Asik became the ninth player warned under the new system, joining Hawks center Zaza Pachulia, Clippers guard Chauncey Billups 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.
Asik 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.
Asik, 26, is averaging 10.7 points and 11.4 rebounds per game for the Rockets. He is on the books for $8.4 million this season after signing a three-year offer sheet from the Rockets as a restricted free agent this summer. The Bulls elected not to match.
Video via YouTube user theassociation