The NBA Puts Flopping In Its Crosshairs; Keyon Dooling Opens Up About His Past

Flopping is an art form like modern art is: Some people get it, and others think it’s pretty ugly. We are, always have been and always will be in the camp that considers flopping one of the very worst things about the NBA. Manu Ginobili is the undisputed champ at the form that takes some getting used to before you can stomach it, but every year someone new wows us with a new flop — they’re sometimes, OK usually, pretty egregious — because they think it will add a competitive advantage to their game. The NBA isn’t deaf to the concerns that it’s a stain on the game, so it’s officially put the practice’s end of days in writing this offseason. The referees and others met a couple weeks ago and basically agreed that a violation won’t result in an in-game call but will instead draw a fine after a post-game review. All 62 NBA refs will be hearing about the changes this week when they come together for a camp to test their knowledge of the game again. Ref camp sounds like one of those random summer camps that one kid at your elementary school went to that no one knew what it was about. We can imagine there’s a lot of backpedaling against virtual fast breaks, proper form of putting the hand in the air for a three-point attempt and the like. Anyway, back to flopping. We sincerely hope this can mete out punishment for violators in a consistent, quick fashion and that it becomes such a non-issue that it becomes like the NFL’s uniform violations, where you never really hear about it publicly. One has to wonder about the efficacy of a fine — because let’s face it, if it means a win or a loss players aren’t going to curb their style of play. Then again, it would be hard to come up with a fair in-game punishment, too, this late. Adding a foul call for it seems like the upper limit of a consequence the refs could possibly dole out in a game to keep players from trying it, but that seems like a drastic change for this season of play. One question about all this: Will the people who video review flops be the same people who determined Golden Tate had simultaneous possession? … Ricky Rubio went into the most depth we’ve seen on record about his knee rehab today, and talked about how his surgically fixed torn ACL is “too vital” to rush back. Some interesting details included that he still can’t jump and his running is about at a 10-minute per mile pace — certainly nothing you’d make a cut on. For shooting, he’s stuck to the ground, which of course means he’s basically perfecting his free-throw form for the next two months. … Hit the jump to hear about Keyon Dooling’s jaw-dropping story…

Recently retired Keyon Dooling has been known for his status as a top-10 pick bust who became a solid guy who gritted out his minutes and leadership on winning teams late in his career. That would be good enough if that were only it. And yet he told today that he had been abused as a child by strangers and those he knew growing up. He sought help in a hospital not long ago because he was so torn up emotionally, too, while saying he’s not the only player around the league who’s gone through the issues of abuse that no one wants to discuss publicly. So instead, he became a rock for those players. That he wanted to retire five years ago in Orlando after finding out he had a degenerative hip problem seems superfluous next to that other news. Damn. Dooling’s also tight with both Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett, a feat probably no other player can match with the two polarizing personalities. But Dooling has nothing but love to say about both along with the Celtics organization. Everyone, including us, made fun of the C’s for trying to sign every old player this offseason but it seems perfectly clear why they wanted Dooling back. Dude’s as steady as a rock not only on the court, but off. … The Miami Herald reported that Dwyane Wade will be held back from full participation in the first week of Heat training camp next week. The problems stem from offseason knee surgery he’s still rehabilitating for. … Anyone want to see Dwight Howard work on his free throws? The Lakers’ released the second video of him working in two days and he’s doing a little jumping and light running in drillwork. All in all, he looks pretty limber for a residual back injury. … We’re out like Stanford.

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