LeBron James, David West, Lance Stephenson each fined $5K for flopping violations
The Miami Heat's LeBron James, Indiana Pacers' David West and Lance Stephenson were each fined $5,000 on Thursday for violating the NBA's anti-flopping policy during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, according to a tweet Thursday morning from ESPN's SportsCenter.
The league had issued a statement following Game 4 saying it would take a look at a number of questionable plays from the game. As per league rules, flopping violations during the playoffs carry a heavier penalty than those committed during the regular season. The first violation in the playoffs brings a $5,000 fine, whereas players are simply warned for the first offense if it happens during the regular season.
As footage shows below, James and West's double-flop occurred with a little more than four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the Heat up two on defense. No call was made on the play but James ended up fouling out moments later for only the second time in his postseason career, and the Pacers won 99-92.
Stephenson's flop came in the first quarter of Game 4 Tuesday night when Ray Allen slightly raised his elbow as Stephenson was back pedaling behind him.
Each of the three players face a $10,000 fine if they commit another flopping violation during the playoffs.
Earlier in the playoffs, during Game 3 of the Chicago Bulls' series with the Heat, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau accused James of flopping after Bulls center Nazr Mohammed blatantly pushed James. Mohammed was immediately ejected and James responded after the game stating that he doesn't need to flop, going so far as to say, "I don't even know how to do it."
"I don’t need to flop. I play an aggressive game but I don’t flop. I’ve never been one of those guys. I don’t need to flop. I don’t even know how to do it. So it doesn’t mean much to me.”
(h/t Chris Beclutchh)