NEW YORK – Stop the flop.
The NBA will penalize floppers this season, fining players for repeated violations of an act a league official said Wednesday has no place in our game.
Those exaggerated falls to the floor may fool the referees and fans during the game, but officials at league headquarters plan to take a look for themselves afterward.
Players will get a warning the first time, then be fined $5,000 for a second violation. The fines increase to $10,000 for a third offense, $15,000 for a fourth and $30,000 the fifth time. Six or more could lead to a suspension.
Flops have no place in our game – they either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call, vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson said in a statement. Accordingly, both the Board of Governors and the competition committee felt strongly that any player who the league determines, following video review, to have committed a flop should – after a warning – be given an automatic penalty.
The players’ association plans to file a grievance with the league office and an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, arguing that it should have been consulted first before the new rules were implemented.
However, a number of players expressed support for the policy. Lakers star Kobe Bryant said he hopes it has an impact on the game.
I like the rule, he said. Shameless flopping, that’s a chump move.
Players cautioned that it would be difficult to completely eliminate flopping, but welcomed the attempt to try.
It’s good. Guys can’t be flopping and get away with it anymore, Oklahoma City guard James Harden said. It was bound to happen at some point. Obviously, the league got fed up with it and they put it in. I’m happy they did.
The NBA said flopping will be defined as any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player.
Commissioner David Stern has long sought to end flopping, believing it tricks the referees.
But the league determined it would be too difficult for refs to make the call on the floor, preferring instead to leave it to league office reviews.
Travel team looking for players
The Fort Wayne Vipers, an under-14 travel team, is holding tryouts at 1 p.m. Saturday at Indian Trails field No. 16, in Indian Trails Park behind the Jorgensen YMCA on Aboite Center Road. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wallace to Knicks; retirement over
The New York Knicks have signed forward Rasheed Wallace, a four-time All-Star who is ending a two-year retirement. The 38-year-old Wallace last played for the Boston Celtics in the 2009-10 season. Terms were not announced. Wallace averaged 14.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in 15 seasons. The temperamental 6-foot-11 Wallace frequently clashed with referees but was a respected teammate and versatile player who helped the Detroit Pistons win the 2004 NBA title. Knicks coach Mike Woodson was an assistant on that team. Wallace joins an aging bench that includes Kurt Thomas, who turns 40 on Thursday; 39-year-old Jason Kidd and 38-year-old Marcus Camby.
Irish learn ACC partners
Notre Dame’s men’s and women’s teams will be paired with Georgia Tech and Boston College when it joins the ACC, the conference announced. The Irish will play the Yellow Jackets and Eagles in a home-and-home series every season and face the other ACC programs once during an 18-game conference schedule when they join the conference. Notre Dame announced on Sept. 12 it will join the ACC in all sports except football and hockey, but a date for the Irish’s departure from the Big East has not been set. The ACC also said it will keep an eight-game conference schedule in football in order to accommodate its deal with Notre Dame playing five ACC opponents every year starting in 2014.
Defenseman to return to Komets
The Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League have released defenseman Daniel Maggio and he will return to Fort Wayne, where he played last season. He will give Fort Wayne 27 players in training camp, and five expected to play in Fort Wayne remain in AHL camps.
Canceling games up next for NHL?
Time is running out before the NHL has to cancel regular-season games and team owners and players aren’t even at the bargaining table. The sides broke off talks Tuesday after only two hours and it’s hard to find optimism anywhere that another hockey season wouldn’t be marred by yet another labor dispute – just seven years after a full season was lost to a lockout. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press in an email on Wednesday that he wasn’t prepared to discuss next steps. He said the league has no timetable for when it will start calling off games.