By Ben Golliver
The NBA officially warned Magic center Gustavo Ayon for violating its anti-flopping policy on Sunday.
Ayon's flop occurred with a little more than one minute remaining in the third quarter of a 97-94 home loss to the Hornets at the Amway Center on Dec. 26. Ayon was defending Robin Lopez, who was working to get open in the post. As Greivis Vasquez entered the ball to Lopez, Ayon took a right forearm from Lopez to his chest. Contact did occur, but it was minimal, and Ayon launched himself backwards in hopes of drawing an offensive foul. No foul was called on Lopez and Magic guard E'Twaun Moore was forced to foul the Hornets center to prevent a lay-up.
This flop was similar to one specifically called out in the league’s official video introducing its flopping policy. In the video, Clippers guard Chris Paul was called out for trying to sell an offensive foul by "launching."
“As the highlighted defensive player, No. 3 in the red uniform, defends the driving offensive player, he feels slight contact and then launches himself back to the floor,” the video’s narrator explained. “This reaction by the defensive player is an overembellishment of marginal contact and is intended to draw an unearned offensive foul on his opponent.”
Ayon became the tenth player warned under the new system, joining Rockets center Omer Asik, 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.
Ayon 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.
Ayon, 27, is averaging 3.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game for the Magic. He is on the books for $1.5 million this season.
Video via YouTube user justin Bogart