By Ben Golliver
February 24, 2014

The NBA issued Pacers center Ian Mahinmi a warning for flopping last Thursday.

Mahinmi's flop occurred in the second quarter of Indiana's 104-91 road loss to Minnesota on Feb. 19. With a little more than eight minutes remaining before halftime and Minnesota leading 36-20, Mahinmi fell to the floor in transition after absorbing contact from Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng.

Mahinmi was attempting to seal Dieng away from the basket area to set up a possible driving lane for Danny Granger. As Granger moved towards the right baseline, Dieng put his hands on Mahinmi's back, and Mahinmi launched himself face-first towards the baseline, landing on the court with his arms. Replays indicated that Mahinmi's reaction was inconsistent with the level of contact from Dieng, who wasn't assessed a foul on the play.

This type of flop was specifically brought up in the NBA’s official video introducing its flopping policy. In the video, then-Celtics big man Ryan Hollins flew to the ground during an inbounding situation, pretending to have been shoved by then-Sixers guard Evan Turner as he worked to receive the pass from out of bounds.

“The highlighted defensive player on this play, No. 50 in the white uniform, gets entangled with the offensive player who is moving to receive the inbounds pass,” the video’s narrator explains. “The defender then throws himself backward to the floor, simulating that he was pushed down on the play. This was an unreasonable embellishment by the defensive player designed to draw an unearned offensive foul on his opponent.”

The 10 most ridiculous flops of the 2012-13 season

Mahinmi becomes the 25th player warned for flopping this season, joining Wizards guard John Wall, Timberwolves forwards Kevin Love and Corey Brewer, Spurs guard Patty MillsBucks center Zaza Pachulia, Rockets guard James HardenKnicks guard Iman Shumpert, Clippers guard Chris PaulCavaliers center Anderson Varejao, Celtics forward Jared SullingerMavericks forward Dirk NowitzkiBobcats guard Gerald HendersonWarriors forward/center Marreese Speights, Sixers guard Tony WrotenBulls forward Taj GibsonPistons guard Brandon JenningsLakers guard Jodie Meeks, Pacers guard Lance Stephenson, Celtics guard Jerryd Bayless, Rockets forward Chandler ParsonsHeat guard Mario Chalmers, Bucks guard Brandon Knight, Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin and Suns forward P.J. Tucker.

HardenBrewerStephensonChalmers and Tucker have all 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.”

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