Shame NBA floppers with these badges
October, 30, 2012
By Larry Buchanan | Special to ESPN.com
Larry BuchananThe NBA is set to crack down on flopping, but it's going to be a big chore.
Beckley Mason of HoopIdea recently set out to identify the most popular variations on the theme with the HoopIdea Guide to Flops. Readers got in on the act, and listed their favorite styles as well.
Now that we know what to watch for, it's time to help the NBA police its own game. Using Mason's guide, here are badges to hand out when you see 15 of the NBA's top flops. Get to tweetin'!
1. Backdown boogieMason's description: A classic of the Vlade Divac tradition. First the post defender takes one hard bump to establish he won’t just go down on any contact. On the second bump, Player B flies back like Gary Oldman when he gets his ’chute pulled by Harrison Ford in "Air Force One."
Noted enthusiasts: Dwyane Wade, Jordan Williams, Mike Miller
2. StarfishMason's description: When a driving player loses the ball, it's time to starfish! Show us full extension on those arms and legs!
Noted enthusiasts: Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, Shane Battier
3. SalmonMason's description: Player gets in position for a rebound, feels a nudge/hand in the small of his back, and leaps forward like the spawning salmon of the great Northwest.
Noted enthusiasts: Josh Smith, Dirk Nowitzki
4. Head whipMason's description: Often occurs in ball screens but can also happen off the ball. Player A is coming around a screen and gets contact (legal or otherwise) in the hip or legs but throws his head back as though from a blow at the shoulders or higher.
Noted enthusiasts: Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, Derrick Rose
5. VelcroMason's description: Player “gets stuck” fighting over/under/through a screen and exaggerates the contact. Usually involves flailing rather than falling down.
Noted enthusiasts: Derek Fisher
6. Body-seeking missileMason's description: A favorite of Derek Fisher, this is when a player drives directly at a defender and then just throws the ball up with no real hope of making the shot. The bucket isn't the goal ... the contact is.
Noted enthusiasts: Chris Paul, Shane Battier
7. Exploding pickMason's description: A versatile flop that can work for defense or offense. It’s when a player runs into a screen and either the screener or the defender acts as though he just stepped on a land mine.
Noted enthusiasts: Reggie Evans, Omer Asik, Boris Diaw, Danilo Gallinari, Mario Chalmers
8. And-one!Mason's description: Yelling as though contact is there when there is none. Perfectly timed, it’s tough for a referee to resist.
Noted enthusiasts: Dwyane Wade
9. Not in the face!Mason's description: Faking injury. A classic of the genre, lifted straight from the soccer field.
Noted enthusiasts: Rudy Fernandez, Tony Allen, Danilo Gallinari
10. Last resortMason's description: When a player flops because it’s the only alternative to turning the ball over. Often occurs near the sideline and against traps.
Noted enthusiasts: LeBron James, Jamaal Tinsley
11. Phantom elbowMason's description: When a player reacts to a little chin music by thrashing his head backward to simulate a dangerous strike to the face or neck.
Noted enthusiasts: James Harden, Tony Allen, Chris Paul, Reggie Evans, Blake Griffin, Chris Bosh
12. Lock and flailMason's description: Player A pins Player B’s arm at his side. When Player B muscles free, Player A throws his arms up, rocking backward as if shoved. A favorite of big men in the post, who often finish the move with an indignant "how can you not call that?" glare at the refs.
Noted enthusiasts: Marc Gasol, Reggie Evans, Tony Parker
13. Delayed ball flopMason's description: Basketball tactics, meet theatrical comedy.
Noted enthusiasts: No one will ever top this one.
14. Jump shot flopMason's description: When a defender gets into his man’s chest, the ball handler might respond by going into his shooting motion and drawing a foul -- even when there’s no real intent to shoot the ball.
Noted enthusiasts: Manu Ginobili, James Harden
15. Stop and flopMason's description: When a ball handler gets his man on his back, then abruptly stops before violently lurching forward.
Noted enthusiasts: James Harden, Chris Paul
Larry Buchanan (larrybuch.com) is an illustrator, designer and journalist living in Brooklyn.
He once drew a beaver dam full of dead bodies, and got paid for it.