"LeBroning" is either the latest fad sweeping through high schools across the country or something that roughly seven people are actually doing but thousands of people find amusing on YouTube.
Either way, the video above defines "LeBroning" -- which obviously draws its name and inspiration from Heat forward LeBron James -- as "the action of throwing yourself to the floor after a light brush by another player, person or animal. Followed by an angry facial expression claiming it is not in any way your fault that you are on the ground."
As cheap and goofy as "LeBroning" might be, it is entertaining and hypnotizing in an America's Funniest Home Videos kind of way. Some of the LeBroners are so committed to their craft that you start to worry about their safety, particularly when they perform their stunts outdoors. After watching the whole video, which includes stops at schools, shopping malls and electronics stores, some childless adults might find themselves seriously considering the possibility of sterilization.
Something tells me this one won't have quite the cultural staying power as "Tebowing," but "planking" and those "Harlem Shake" videos both lasted well past their assumed expiration dates, so don't count out "LeBroning" just yet.
The trend's timing is pretty good, as James was involved in an exchange with Nets forward Mirza Teletovic last Friday. The back-to-back MVP reacted angrily to contact in his head/shoulders area, and he later accused Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko of flopping on the same play, according to CBSSports.com.
“I thought Kirilenko flopped a few times, to be honest about it,” James said. “He flopped a few times and he got the call. I thought the last one that fouled me out, that could’ve been a charge for sure. He was trying to put his hands on me as I drove and that’s’ what got him off balance and he was able to get the call. But Kirilenko flopped on me a couple of times.”
The NBA instituted an anti-flopping policy prior to the 2012-13 season. Players are given one free warning during the regular season for flopping before they are subject to a graduated scale of fines for additional violations.
James has drawn criticism from fans, media and opponents for simulating and exaggerating contact over the years. During the 2013 playoffs, James said that he does not simulate fouls after the Bulls accused him of flopping during the conference semifinals.
“From my angle, I just saw a guy, basically, flop,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I’m going to leave it at that.”
“You see LeBron in a lot of commercials, a lot of good acting,” Bulls guard Nate Robinson added, according to Yahoo Sports.
“I don’t need to flop,” James said, according to the Associated Press. “I play an aggressive game. I don’t flop. I’ve never been one of those guys.”
However, James also said that he does see value in deceiving the officials.
“Some guys have been doing it for years, just trying to get an advantage,” James said last May, according to ESPN.com. ”Any way you can get an advantage over the opponent to help your team win, so be it.”
The NBA would later fine James $5,000 for flopping during the Eastern Conference finals against the Pacers. There are no free warnings in the playoffs.
James has not yet been warned for flopping during the 2013-14 season.
Video via YouTube user HotNewHipHop | Hat tip: HoopMixTape.com