It’s not like flopping is a cultural phenomenon solely owned by the NBA. It’s a disease that’s infiltrating every corner of professional sports. Take last weekend for example. Jerome Simpson, a 25-year-old wide receiver for Cincinnati, drew a 15-yard penalty against the Browns last Sunday by flopping harder than Rollerball. One little shove and boom, he was up, up and away, launching himself five feet off the ground, the largest jack rabbit anyone had ever seen. What made it even worse was the ref didn’t see it and yet still drew the flag.
It drew blog posts, conversations on ESPN shows, laughs and hate, and while it was one of the most heinous crimes of flopping we’ve ever seen, us basketball fans know how it is to deal with people like Simpson every day. Like nudity on television or swearing in music, we’re immune to it.
On an NFL field, a flop like that sticks out as much as rotten milk. In the NBA, we see so many of them it’s become routine. You’re considered a great player now if you can “draw the contact” or “force the official to make the call.” Yes, there is a certain aspect of talent to this: Great players have always found ways to get to the line. But inevitably, people start flopping to draw fouls, and it’s gotten so out of control that refusing to flop puts you at a disadvantage.
I’ve made up my mind. At some point early this season, I’m going to watch an entire game and see if I can track how many flops occur, how many draw fouls and how many go unseen. If only we still had Rasheed Wallace around to set us straight as he did two years ago when talking about Hedo Turkoglu: “They’ve got to know that he’s a [darn] flopper. That’s all Turkododo do. Flopping shouldn’t get you nowhere. He acts like I shot him.
“That’s not basketball, man. That’s not defense. That’s garbage, what it is. I’m glad I don’t have too much of it left.”
Last season, SI.com polled a number of NBA players in an effort to discover the league’s greatest flopper. While their list was based off of personal experience and subject to favoritism, I’ll try to do what I can to create the definitive list of NBA floppers. With that, check out my list on the next page of the 10 best/worst/most often prone to flop players in the game today.