All right, this is just ridiculous. As I'm sure all of the NBA fans out there know, the 2012-'13 season has begun with a new rule in effect.
The "anti-flopping rule," as it has been called, has created quite a stir and I think it's time I put in my two cents about it. Many players and coaches have complained about the rule and players even tried to sue the league over it, citing "unfair labor practices," but I think that's pretty ridiculous.
How is it an unfair labor practice to penalize a player who cheats? That's exactly what flopping is, if you ask me. If you throw yourself on the floor to draw a foul that wasn't deserved, that's exactly the same as using performance enhancers or any other recognized form of cheating.
To say that the rule is unfair is to say that flopping is completely OK and players should be entitled to being able to do it. Well, I've got news for all of the players who make this claim: If a high school player would be benched and reprimanded endlessly by his or her coach for that -- and I know it happens because I've seen it -- then you shouldn't be able to flop, either.
Don't get me wrong, I know those guys all put in tons of hard work to get where they are and there are probably many instances in which they do deserve a little bit of slack. But that isn't one of them.
Yes, I agree that the penalties the league plans to enforce against players who are ruled to have flopped are stiff, but I think they should be. Something has to be done to get players' attention and tell them this practice is not OK.
Currently, the penalty structure under the new rule provides any player who is deemed to have flopped one warning. If the same player flops again, he will be fined $5,000, followed by a $10,000 fine for a third offense, $15,000 for a fourth, $30,000 for a fifth and potential suspension thereafter.
I can see why some would object to such stiff penalties for an act many see as so trivial, but I'm right there with the league on this one. I don't think they should lighten them at all because if you don't give the players a punishment that will get their attention, it all means nothing.
And I'm not alone on this one. Though the rule has gotten a lot of high profile opposition, it has gotten support from some equally high places. Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said after the rule was introduced publicly on Oct. 3, "I'm all on board for it."
Spoelstra went on to say flopping isn't good for the game of basketball and nobody likes it. That's not news to me. He's simply echoing the same words I've said since I was a kid.
Everybody out there who doesn't agree with Coach Spoelstra and myself has been able to make a pretty solid case when they wanted to and I can see both sides of the coin, but honestly, all I can say to the players who think they should be able to flop whenever they want to and are entitled to being babied as much as they want to be is a simple, yet cliched phrase that is often overused in the world of competitive activities: Man up.
If you want to be able to flop and get rewarded for it, go do it somewhere else because I don't know about anybody who is reading this, but I sure don't want to see it.