Another NBA game. Another flop. Another long rant from Jeff Van Gundy.
The former coach's crusade against flopping in the NBA continued on Sunday late in the third quarter of the Heat's win over the Knicks when Miami forward James Jones did a little acting to draw an offensive foul on rookie Iman Shumpert.
Shumpert had lost control of the ball on a fast break, recovered and passed it to Steve Novak in the corner for a 3-point shot. But he ran into Jones during the pass, who fell back and layed on the ground for a few minutes after getting the call. Initially both Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy seemed to think it was a good call, but not after watching the replay.
"That's a flop," Van Gundy said. "It just ruins the game. I can't believe with all the brilliance we have in the NBA office, that we can't find a way to eliminate this part of the game, or at least even start to punish it. I mean this is just a blatant flop."
Breen tried interrupting his partner and noted that Shumpert did "push off a bit," but that didn't stop Van Gundy.
"I'm just sick of it and I can't believe the NBA office isn't sick of it, too. They're obviously condoning this. They're absolutely condoning flopping because they give them the calls and they don't punish them when they do flop," he said before suggesting how to officiate flopping. "You fine them or you treat them like technicals. When you flop X amount of times, you're suspended. That's not hard. Technicals are subjective too. It's so easy it could be eliminated today if they wanted it to but because they don't want it to, it continues to go on and on and on with no stopping in sight... We're paying the commissioner 25 million dollars he can come up with a solution."
We'll have to wait and see if David Stern will listen to Van Gundy's latest outburst or just ignore it all together, but it is difficult to argue with the points made by the former coach. Diving and acting in the NBA has grown so prevalent that ESPN's HoopIdea has even created a nightly watch -- or movement if you will -- called "Flop Of The Night" with a hashtag #StopTheFlop.
Seeing more and more of the game's best athletes put on Oscar-worthy performances to get cheap fouls called never looks good and turning it into a rule could actually an entertaining element to the game.
As long as Blake Griffin is allowed to pull off something like what he did against the Thunder, casual sports fans might start questioning NBA players' toughness more often than they take aim at soccer players. After all, when's the last time we've seen any professional basketball player do anything like what Barcelona's Carles Puyol did against Real Zaragoza last week.
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