||10-04-2012 06:00 PM
No flopping, no problem for the Toronto Raptors
In case you had some doubt as to whether NBA players have regularly flopped — embellished fouls by falling to the court — over the last few years, let Toronto Raptors guard John Lucas III clear up the matter.
“I think everybody flops in the league,” Lucas said at the Raptors’ training camp in Halifax on Thursday. “Bigs flop. Guards definitely flop. Any given day, if someone grabs my jersey, I’ll sell it like somebody grabbed my spine out of my body. You learn that as a child. It kind of makes you take away part of your game.”
The league is trying to do something about that. On Wednesday, the NBA announced new restrictions on flopping, which officials at the league office will review. A first violation gets a warning, with the next four violations going from $5,000 to $10,000 to $15,000 to $30,000.
The players’ association is planning to file a grievance about the new rule, but for now, it is a reality. The Raptors did not seem altogether unpleased about its existence.
“The flagrant flopping is something that is not good for our league and not good for basketball,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “I think the league did a good job of making a rule.
“Well, [the fines and punishment will be] up to the league but I do know [addressing] flopping is a good decision by the league”
The problem, of course, is how widespread flopping is, and how hard it can be to separate an embellished plunge to the floor from the genuine article. Lucas pointed out that it was the players’ own doing.
“I think they overdid it last year with the flopping, like faking that they got poked in the eye,” Lucas said. “People are faking like someone ripped their arm off. It’s part of the game. You learn it when you’re little: try to get the foul, stuff like that. It takes away part of the game of basketball. It’s 50-50 [whether I like it or not].”
• Lucas was not shy about identifying floppers throughout the league. He went with, essentially, everybody.
He named Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, but only to make a point that even the game’s best players were not above such tactics.
Casey went old school with his vote.
“I thought [Vlade] Divac was one of the best,” Casey said. “I think he started it. He could sell it.”
• Thursday was the only one of the Raptors’ four practice days in Halifax that they did not have two separate sessions. That left the players a lot of free time to explore after the practice ended at 1 p.m.
Accordingly, Jose Calderon, Jonas Valanciunas, Linas Kleiza, Quincy Acy, Chris Wright and assistant coaches Tom Sterner and Scott Roth went whale watching in the afternoon.
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