Video: NBA warns Bulls' Taj Gibson for flopping vs. Cavaliers
Gibson's flop occurred with a little more than three minutes remaining in the first quarter of Chicago's 100-84 home win over Cleveland on Dec. 21. While running up the court in transition, Gibson was lightly bumped by Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving as he crossed the three-point line. Gibson responded by flailing both of his arms and spinning around, drawing a foul on Irving. Replays indicated that Gibson's response was inconsistent with the light forearm contact delivered by Irving.
This type of flop was specifically called out in the NBA’s official video introducing its flopping policy. In the video, Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari over-sold contact received while he was playing defense against a screen.
“While defending against a legal ball screen, the defensive player, No. 8 in the white uniform, absorbs solid contact from the screener,” the narrator explained. “However, the reaction by No. 8, which includes a flail, a spin and a fall to the floor … was a gross over-embellishment and inconsistent with the degree of contact on the play.”
Gibson becomes the 15th 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, Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson, Warriors forward/center Marreese Speights and Sixers guard Tony Wroten. 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.”