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Do NBA Players Get Fined For Flops?

Flopping has unfortunately become part of the game in the NBA today. Players always try to get themselves one step ahead by flopping around in an effort to bait referees into calling fouls on the other team. While it’s incredibly annoying to watch, it happens all the time now. So, it raises the question, do NBA players get fined for flops?

Do NBA Players Get Fined For Flops? Yes, the league was able to implement rules in 2012 which stated that a player would receive a technical foul if they were judged to have flopped during play. The video would be reviewed afterwards and the league office will decide whether or not the flop warrants a fine. Each fine usually gets set at $5,000 and will only get handed out to a player if they have already received a warning from the league. 

Flopping has definitely slowed down in some aspects since the rule was implemented, but it’s not entirely gone. Sadly, flopping in the league might not ever go away fully due to the advantage it could give your team. The 2012 rules may have cut it back, but there are still ways that players just slip right through the cracks and get away with flops from time to time.

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What Is Defined as A Flop

While the term flop sounds like you would know exactly what it is when you see it, it’s actually pretty confusing. The league reviews videos and tries to determine if the player in question contorted his body in a way to bait the officials into calling a foul. In real time, it’s wildly difficult for a referee to tell the difference between the two, especially with the way that they are usually trained on these rules. On top of that, the league tries to look into the contact that happens on the play. For example, if a player like LeBron James flies down to the ground while holding onto his eye, yet the replay shows that there wasn’t even contact made, he would be hit with a league fine for the flop when they review it. These are just the type of things that the league is looking for. Sometimes, a player will get away with it during the game because like I said earlier, referees are only human and can’t tell the difference at game speed. When it does reach the league office though, they will know pretty quickly whether or not it’s blatant enough to constitute a flop.

Players Split On The Flopping Rules

All those years ago when the rules were put in place, which have become stricter over the years, players made sure to voice their opinions on the matter.  Kobe Bryant for one voiced his gratitude to this addition and even called players out who were flopping all the time. Then we have Blake Griffin who wasn’t a big fan of the idea. A lot of people thought that Blake flopped all the time, which obviously made it look worse when he came out and said that he wasn’t a fan of it. However, his reasoning was that the fine wasn’t big enough. Griffin was mentioning how it’s essentially a minor punishment for players due to the amount of money that they make per season compared to the game changing outcome that might happen because of it. He’s not entirely wrong there. The first place to ever get hit with this fine was the Brooklyn Nets forward Reggie Evans. Evans missed the flop during the course of the game but caught it in the league office. They handed him a $5,000 fine for his actions. He wouldn’t have even received this fine if he hadn’t been warned by the league for his first flop earlier in the season. Evans as you could probably expect wasn’t too fond of the fine.

Flopping Nowadays

Despite the league apparently getting stricter lately with the flopping rules, we haven’t seen too many fines come out. Throughout the entire 2020 season, only one player in the league was docked for flopping. That would be the Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, who was hit with that aforementioned $5,000 fine. Move forward into the 2021 year, and there wasn’t a single player who was officially hit with a flopping fine.  If you watch the games over the past few seasons, players flop pretty consistently when you really start to pay attention to it. It’s actually insane how little these players have been fined lately for blatant flops, even if they aren’t all caught by the officials straight away. We’ve seen a lot of warnings get handed out, but little to no fines. LeBron and Kyle Kuzma were hit with warnings for violating this flopping rule in the same year not too long ago and Patrick Beverley was also fined somewhat recently for violating the rule as well. When this rule first came about in 2012, the league was handing out these flopping violations almost every single time that they saw it. It was such a huge media headline that the league wanted to put extra effort into shutting all violations of it down. Nowadays, there seems to be a much more relaxed tone to flopping than in previous years, despite the league saying that they are trying to tighten the grip on flopping. Moving forward, there is no doubt that we will be seeing flopping fines get handed out. There will also be a ton of warnings coming our way in the upcoming couple of seasons. However, there certainly won’t be as many as there used to be. If the league plans on seriously stopping any player from flopping around on the court to sway the game in their direction, they are going to need to step it up in terms of punishments. Otherwise, we will be seeing the same type of flopping that we have grown accustomed to over the years from certain players. Marcus Smart, Patrick Beverley and even LeBron James have been some of the more recent and familiar names attached to flopping.