According to an ESPN article by Marc Stein, the NBA will fine players for flopping next year. Fine amounts are not set yet, but NBA observers and video reviewers will be tasked with reporting blatant violations. This is fantastic news and something that Dave and I have been pulling for since long before this blog started.
I really like Rasheed Wallace's take on the ridiculousness that is the Celtics flopping in this series:
"All that bull(bleep)-ass calls they had out there. With Mike [Callahan] and
Kenny [Mauer] -- you've all seen that (bleep)," Wallace said. "You saw them
calls. The cats are flopping all over the floor and they're calling that
(bleep). That (bleep) ain't basketball out there. It's all (bleeping)
entertainment. You all should know that (bleep). It's all (bleeping)
I do have to take the potential fining with a grain of salt though. It's Stu Jackson and David Stern running who gets fined ultimately, and much like the way they manipulate officials, this will be manipulated as well.
Another portion of the article talked about possible changes to the playoffs. I'm a huge proponent of letting it be the top 16 teams that get into the playoffs instead of 8 teams in each league. And I wholeheartedly disagree with this being a reason not to do it:
There is also naturally considerable opposition from teams in the East to
sending the clubs with the 16 best records to the playoffs. The current format
enabled several sub-.500 teams this season -- such as Indiana, New Jersey and
Chicago -- to stay in playoff contention well into April, giving them something
to sell to their fan bases in spite of sub-par records and constant reminders
from the media about the West's superior depth.
That is essentially ignoring the fact that there were multiple teams in the West that did not enjoy such a luxury, specifically the Portland Trailblazers and the Sacramento teams. Both of those teams had legitimate arguments that they were better than the Hawks, Wizards, Raptors or 76ers. I don't buy that argument at all, there is a give and take on it that is equal on either side, so in no way is it better to leave it the same just because some crappy teams in the east got a shot at the playoffs that they did not earn.