The NBA announced Tuesday that Clippers guard Chris Paul has been issued a warning for flopping.
Paul's flop occurred in the third quarter of L.A.'s 109-107 home win over Minnesota on Monday night. With the Timberwolves leading 76-74, Paul sought to free himself from Ricky Rubio in the left corner so that he could receive a pass from Blake Griffin. The two guards engaged in some light bumping, and when Griffin released the pass Paul decided to allow himself to fall to the floor rather than make a play for the ball. Rubio was whistled for a foul on the play.
Video of the sequence can viewed on NBA.com.
This type of flop was specifically called out in the NBA’s official video introducing its flopping policy. In the video, then Celtics big man Ryan Hollins flew to the ground during an inbounding situation, pretending to have been shoved by Evan Turner as he worked to receive the pass from out of bounds.
"The highlighted defensive player on this play, No. 50 in the white uniform, gets entangled with the offensive player who is moving to receive the inbounds pass," the video's narrator explains. "The defender then throws himself backward to the floor, simulating that he was pushed down on the play. This was an unreasonable embellishment by the defensive player designed to draw an unearned offensive foul on his opponent."
Tuesday's announcement makes Paul a repeat offender, as he was warned for flopping back in March.
Paul becomes the eighth player warned by the league for flopping this season, Shumpert becomes the seventh player warned by the league for flopping this season, joining Wizards guard John Wall, Timberwolves forwards Kevin Love and Corey Brewer, Spurs guard Patty Mills, Bucks center Zaza Pachulia, Rockets guard James Harden and Knicks guard Iman Shumpert. No warnings were handed out during the preseason. Harden has also been fined $5,000 for a second violation.
Instituted before the 2012-13 season, the NBA's anti-flopping system provides one free warning to players before they are subjected to a scaling set of monetary fines.
- Violation 1: Warning
- Violation 2: $5,000 fine
- Violation 3: $10,000 fine
- Violation 4: $15,000 fine
- Violation 5: $30,000 fine
- Violation 6: Subject to discipline reasonable under the circumstances, including an increased fine and/or suspension
The NBA assigned 24 flopping violations to 19 different players on 13 different teams during the 2012-13 regular season. Five players received two infractions each, earning fines totaling $25,000, with zero players getting dinged three or more times.
During the 2013 playoffs, the NBA removed the free warning and began assessing fines. Although commissioner David Stern said that the league's current policy "isn't enough" to curb the practice, the league did not adopt any changes to the policy during the offseason.
The NBA defines flopping as "any physical act that, following review, reasonably appears to be intended to cause the game officials to call a foul on another player" with the “primary factor” in determining a flop being whether “a player’s physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact.” Paul finished with 21 points (on 7-for-14 shooting), 11 assists, four rebounds and four steals in 35 minutes.