Bayless' flop occurred in the fourth quarter of Boston's 104-92 home loss to Houston on Monday. With a little more than three minutes remaining in the game and Houston leading 95-85, Bayless applied full-court pressure defense as Jeremy Lin dribbled the ball up the court. Lin attempted to run Bayless off of a Dwight Howard screen near the free-throw line, and Bayless responded to light contact from Howard by throwing his arms up in the air, spinning and falling to the court on his backside.
Replays indicated that the initial contact from Howard was not strong enough to produce the subsequent reaction from Bayless. No foul was called on the play.
This type of flop was specifically brought up in the NBA’s official video introducing its flopping policy. In the video, Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari was called out for performing a similar action.
“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.”
Bayless becomes the 19th player warned 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, Sixers guard Tony Wroten, Bulls forward Taj Gibson, Pistons guard Brandon Jennings, Lakers guard Jodie Meeks and Pacers guard Lance Stephenson.
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.” Bayless, who was traded to the Celtics by the Grizzlies earlier this month, finished with 17 points (on 7-for-13 shooting) and four assists.