Jennings' flop occurred with a little more than nine minutes remaining in the first quarter of Detroit's 114-97 home loss to Houston on Dec. 21. Jennings began the play by lunging at Rockets guard Patrick Beverley, who was dribbling outside the three-point arc at the right angle. After coming up empty, Jennings got back on his feet and shadowed Beverley's right side as he drove towards the paint. Beverley appeared to extend his right arm back towards Jennings to clear him off, and Jennings fell quickly to the floor while flailing both of his arms in the air to sell the contact, which resulted in an offensive foul call on Beverley. Replays indicated that contact between the players was minimal.
This type of flop was specifically called out 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 becomes the 16th 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, 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 and Bulls forward Taj Gibson. No warnings were handed out during the preseason. Harden and Brewer have both been fined $5,000 for incurring second violations.
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.”
Jennings finished with eight points (on 2-for-11 shooting) and 10 assists in 32 minutes.Video via YouTube user talkhoops | Hat tip: EyeOnBasketball