Shumpert's flop occurred late in the second quarter of New York's 101-91 home win over Charlotte on Friday night. With New York leading 49-45, Shumpert attempted to chase an offensive rebound after a missed jumper by Andrea Bargnani. Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson secured the defensive rebound in traffic and swung his elbows to clear Shumpert away from him.
Although Henderon's elbow did not make contact with Shumpert, the Knicks guard went spilling to the ground with his arms flailing before sliding backwards on the court. Replays indicated that Henderson's elbow was well away from Shumpert's head and that his reaction to the non-contact was entirely imagined.
Henderson was initially assessed a flagrant foul on the play, which was rescinded. He was then assessed a technical foul for the swinging elbow instead.
Video of the sequence can be above or on NBA.com.
This flop was somewhat similar to one performed by Clippers guard Chris Paul in the league’s official video introducing its flopping policy. During that play, 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.”
Shumpert becomes the seventh 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 and Rockets guard James Harden. No warnings were handed out during the preseason.
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.”
Shumpert finished with five points (on 2-for-3 shooting), seven rebounds and four assists in 39 minutes. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with a game-high 28 points (on 12-for-22 shooting), eight rebounds and six assists.