Speights' flop occurred with a little less than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of Golden State's 105-83 road loss to Houston on Dec. 6. Chandler Parsons threw an entry pass to Dwight Howard on the right block. Speights was alone playing one-on-one defense and he absorbed light contact to the chest as Howard turned towards the center of the paint. Speights launched his upper body and head backwards after the contact, falling to the court as Howard swept in for a left-handed lay-up.
Replays showed that Speights' reaction was inconsistent with the minor contact from Howard, who was called for an offensive foul on the play. Video of the sequence can be seen above or on NBA.com.
This type of flop was specifically called out in the NBA’s official video introducing its flopping policy. In the video, Clippers guard Chris Paul was called out for trying to sell a charge in a similar manner.
“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 over-embellishment of marginal contact and is intended to draw an unearned offensive foul on his opponent.”
Speights becomes the 13th 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, 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. No warnings were handed out during the preseason. Harden and Brewer have both been fined $5,000 for incurring second violations.
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.” Speights finished with nine points (on 3-for-9 shooting) and seven rebounds in 21 minutes.