I’m not a fan of Jeff Van Gundy — the only time he comes up in conversation is when I need someone to compare to Stevie from ‘Eastbound & Down’ — but I appreciate the thorough, somewhat obnoxious lengths he goes to to condemn flopping during Sunday’s game between the Miami Heat and New York Knicks. He’s right (he’s completely, 100% right), but at some point when he’s shouting over the upcoming games graphics you expect him to turn into Mike Gundy and scream about how old he is.
And no matter how right he is (he is totally right), the NBA isn’t going to punish flopping because you can’t punish flopping. Not only because of that terrible argument soccer fans use about it being “how the game is played”, but because if you start calling a technical on every guy on the court who doesn’t fall straight back when he’s touched you are swiftly and permanently neutering an honest man’s ability to play defense. Fines won’t work either, because LeBron James isn’t going to miss that 10-grand he’ll consciously decide to pay when he goes down like a fainting French lass at a f**king cotillion to regain possession in the playoffs.
It also won’t work because Jeff Van Gundy said it.
I guess the only way to fix it is a fundamental restructuring of sports and parenting, where we can organize teams in a world where people were raised with the idea that they should always try to do the right thing, and in a world where Winning At Sports isn’t a higher priority than decency. Also in this world, the Miami Heat have been put into a space shuttle and piloted into the sun.
[h/t to Ball Don’t Lie]