Considering the situation — the score, how much time was remaining, and LeBron James coming down the floor with a full head of steam — this sequence is more amusing than it is an egregious attempt to trick the referees into blowing an unearned whistle.
The Minnesota Timberwolves held a one-point lead near the end of regulation, and after a missed shot attempt, found themselves desperately trying to defend the game’s best player in transition. A foul would give James two free-throw attempts that could potentially decide the game, so Ricky Rubio, then J.J. Barea, then Barea once more did everything possible to get in their opponent’s way without committing a foul, and exaggerated even the smallest bit of contact while doing so.
Barea’s final flop proved to be too much, however, as he was whistled for a blocking foul on Mario Chalmers.
Chalmers made only one of the two free-throw attempts, and Minnesota went on to win in double-overtime. Pro Basketball Talk
I was going to totally ignore this story, but I saw it multiple times around the web on Twitter and basketball sites that I frequent. I saw the sequence the night it happened and just thought a bunch of contact happened. Heat players are running hard at the Wolves players who fell over because of the contact. It could be flopping, but it sounds like a bunch of people who haven’t played sports accusing guys of flopping.
General rule of thumb: If a guy your size or larger is running and about to make contact without fear of you hitting him in the face, fall back. Attempting to stand solid as a mountain will hurt you. This is the NBA that does not allow hand checking, what is everyone so up in arms about? Besides, the Heat flop as much as any team in the league. Social media even created the #lebroning meme in dedication of James’ ridiculous flopping.
James spoke on his flopping this January.
I respect James’ game as much as anyone, but everyone should chill out. This is the league we have until changes are made to the way games are called. – AL
Featured image courtesy of Joe Bielawa/Flickr.