5. Chris Paul
He could be the the league’s best flopping big-name player. Paul isn’t sneaky with it. He’s flat-out annoying. I dare hardcore New Orleans fans to watch a quarter of basketball and not catch Paul whipping his head back at some point. Some guys get their whole body into it, but Paul, all he has to do is whip his head around and he can draw fouls. A defender could hit him in the leg, and somehow, someway, Paul’s head would snap back like he just drove into a tree. Check out this game against the Spurs. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a player properly execute two 360 flops in one game. Impressive stuff.
4. Raja Bell
Bell isn’t so relevant anymore in NBA circles as he’s aged. But during the Suns’ run with Steve Nash, STAT, the Matrix and all the rest, Bell could’ve been one of the league leaders in flops. In his numerous battles with San Antonio in the playoffs, Bell very nearly out-flopped Manu. When he first came on the scene with Philadelphia, Bell was a gritty and unbelievably tough kid, unafraid to back down in the playoffs against some of the world’s best players. Even the strongest of us can sometimes lose our ways, and eventually Bell was competing in “Can you top this?” fall down competitions with Manu in the playoffs.
3. Manu Ginobili
Ginobili is a special flopper. He’s a clutch flopper, and there aren’t too many of those. Most of the players on this list can get away with a fling at the 5:54 point in the second quarter. But doing it in the biggest possession of a playoff game? That takes either years of practice, or just a natural gift. God awarded Manu the most balanced unorthodox game perhaps of all time, and he’s probably going to ride it all the way to Springfield. He’s long been one of the best players in this game. But that’s not the only gift he has. As a clutch flopper, he is right at the top.
2. Anderson Varejao
When SI.com ran a poll late last season asking NBA players who they thought were the worst floppers in the league, guess who earned the No. 1 spot? Varejao’s flops earn an extra sense of authenticity because when he flops, his hair goes nuts, drawing the extra attention necessary to incite even the calmest fan.
Varejao earned his repuation in the league because of an unwavering tenacity, the way he goes 100 miles an hour for 48 minutes, every game, every night. But when we sit back 15 years from now and think of the Brazilian Wild Man, we’ll see visions of that hair whipping around as he draws another ridiculous offensive foul.
1. Derek Fisher
The President of the Floppers Association is Fisher’s dual job when he’s at his place of work. My personal favorites are his drives to the rim: He swings his arms wildly, whips his head back and forth and then goes crashing to the floor. The Willow Smith of the hardwood. Just within the past few years, as he’s gotten older and closer to retirement, Fisher has done the smart thing. He’s worked on his flopping, perfected the craft and now you can almost guarantee the Lakers point guard will catch a ref slipping at least three times a night. Jeff Van Gundy calls him the “renowned flopper.” Between this guy and Bryant, the Lakers have a flop-athon nearly every game.
Who do you think is the worst/best flopper in the league?
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