The NBA has fined Pacers guard Lance Stephenson $5,000 for flopping on Heat forward LeBron James during Miami’s 87-83 road victory over Indiana in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night.
Stephenson becomes the first player fined for violating the league’s anti-flop program during the 2014 playoffs. The program removes the free warning given to players during the regular season and assesses a fine on the first flopping offense.
With a little under four minutes remaining in the third quarter and Indiana leading 57-54, Heat forward LeBron James pushed the ball up the court to initiate a possession. As he approached the three-point line, James attempted to pull up and Stephenson came running into him from behind. James used his right arm to brush off Stephenson, who tossed his arm in the air and flailed his head backwards as he fell to the floor. Sports Illustrated
The fine is fair. Lance Stephenson flop was obvious and he made it worse by holding the falling pose which led to a ridiculous amount of great memes.
The problem is that the NBA is not fining all flops. It’s not even most flops or half of flops. LeBron James performed a flop even more silly than Stephenson’s when he threw himself under a fan’s seat after a standard foul by David West.
Players are encouraged to embellish any contact at all times because the risk/reward is totally worth it. At the very least, fines are extremely rare so why not go for it? The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers flop several times each quarter when they play each other. I’m certain there are many other legitimate instances that could be fined as well.
Stephenson was fined for laying on the ground to further convince everyone he was fouled, not for flopping. That’s what frustrates me. Fines should occur for all blatant flopping, not just the overacting that takes places afterwards. – AL
Featured image courtesy of Matt Velazquez/Flickr.