The NBA issued Pistons guard Brandon Jennings a $5,000 fine on Tuesday for his second violation of the league's anti-flopping rules this season. He becomes the five player to draw a fine this year, joining Rockets guard James Harden, Timberwolves forward Corey Brewer and Pacers guard Lance Stephenson, and Heat guard Mario Chalmers.
Jennings was penalized for an exaggerated response to an invisible elbow to his upper body from Bucks forward Jeff Adrien during Detroit's 116-111 home victory on Monday. With a little more than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the Pistons leading 104-100, Adrien secured a defensive rebound in traffic. He lightly swung his arms to clear space and Jennings, who had followed his own shot after missing a runner, launched himself backwards from Adrien's body in response to the swing.
The officials on the court called a foul on Adrien, much to the disappointment of multiple Milwaukee players. Video replays confirmed that there was no contact between Adrien's elbow and Jennings' body.
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.”
Jennings' first flop came back in December against the Rockets. That flopping violation occurred while he played defense on the perimeter.
In all, 27 players have been warned for flopping this season: Jennings, Harden, Brewer, Stephenson, Chalmers, Wizards guard John Wall, Timberwolves forwards 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, Lakers guard Jodie Meeks, Celtics guard Jerryd Bayless, Rockets forward Chandler Parsons, Bucks guard Brandon Knight, Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin, Suns forward P.J. Tucker, Pacers center Ian Mahinmi, Pacers guard C.J. Watson and Bulls guard D.J. Augustin.
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.” Jennings finished with 20 points (on 7-for-17 shooting), 13 assists and three rebounds against the Bucks.