The NBA issued Heat guard Mario Chalmers a $5,000 fine on Thursday for his second violation of the league's anti-flopping rules this season. He becomes the fourth player to draw a fine this year, joining Rockets guard James Harden, Timberwolves forward Corey Brewer and Pacers guard Lance Stephenson.
Chalmers was dinged for an exaggerated response to a phantom elbow to his neck area from Clippers forward Blake Griffin during Miami's 116-112 road victory on Wednesday. With a little under six minutes remaining in the third quarter and the Heat leading 79-67, Griffin looked to post up on Chalmers on the left wing. As he prepared to receive an entry pass with his right hand, Griffin raised his left arm to create space from Chalmers. The movement initially looked as if Griffin had swung his elbow and knocked Chalmers backwards, and Griffin was whistled for an offensive foul on the play.
Video replays confirmed that Chalmers had simply launched his head backwards in a manner inconsistent with the minor contact from Griffin.
This type of flop was specifically brought up in the NBA’s official video introducing its flopping policy. In the video, Clippers guard Chris Paul was defending a drive before he fell backwards dramatically to the ground as if he had been struck by an elbow.
“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.”
In all, 23 players have been warned for flopping this season: Chalmers, Stephenson, Harden, Brewer, 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, 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, Celtics guard Jerryd Bayless, Rockets forward Chandler Parsons, Bucks guard Brandon Knight, and Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin.
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 now-former 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.”
Chalmers finished with 10 points (on 4-for-7 shooting) and three assists against the Clippers. Video via YouTube user frank den