The NBA announced Monday that Timberwolves forward Corey Brewer has been fined $5,000 for violating the league's anti-flopping policy for the second time this season. Brewer received his first flop warning back in November.
Brewer's latest dive came with a little less than three minutes remaining in the first quarter of Minnesota's 103-82 home loss to Miami on Saturday. Ray Allen lined up a three-pointer from the left corner as Brewer, LeBron James and two other Timberwolves established rebounding position in the paint. James initially bumped Brewer off of the block, obtaining the necessary angle to recover the offensive rebound. Rather than contest for the rebound, Brewer flailed his arms in the air and flung his body out towards the free throw line as if James had shoved him in the back as the two players rose for the ball.
Replays showed that any contact from James' left arm to Brewer's body as the two players went up to jump was minimal. James was called for a foul on the play.
This type of flop was specifically called out in the NBA’s official video introducing its flopping policy. In the video, then-Hawks forward Josh Smith fell quickly to the ground while fighting for a rebound with then-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.”
All told, 12 players have been warned by the league for flopping this season: Brewer, Harden, Wizards guard John Wall, Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, Spurs guard Patty Mills, Bucks center Zaza Pachulia, Knicks guard Iman Shumpert, Clippers guard Chris Paul, Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao, Celtics forward Jared Sullinger, Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, and Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson.
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.”