- Beckley Mason, NBA
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Now that the NBA is in the business of identifying flops, it's time to acknowledge that not all flops are created equal.
So we’re putting names on the different kinds of flops -- and naming names, too.
You can help us identify all the varieties out there and who the worst offenders (and defenders) are.
Below we’ve gotten started by identifying 24 types of flopping.
You can add your thoughts by clicking on the links in each box.
1. Backdown boogie
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."
When a driving player loses the ball, it's time to starfish! Show us full extension on those arms and legs!
3. SalmonPlayer 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.
4. Head whip
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.
Player “gets stuck” fighting over/under/through a screen and exaggerates the contact. Usually involves flailing rather than falling down.
6. Body-seeking missile
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.
7. Exploding pick
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 landmine.
Yelling as though contact is there when there is none. Perfectly timed, it’s tough for a referee to resist.
9. Not in the face!Faking injury. A classic of the genre, lifted straight from the soccer field.
10. Last resort
When a player flops because it’s the only alternative to turning the ball over. Often occurs near the sideline and against traps.
11. Phantom elbow
When a player reacts to a little chin music by thrashing his head backward to simulate a dangerous strike to the face or neck.
12. Lock and flailPlayer 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.
13. Delayed ball flopBasketball tactics, meet theatrical comedy.
Mick Pennisi of the PBA deserves his own category. No fine is needed here; the international embarrassment should be punishment enough.
14. Jump shot flop
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.
15. Stop and flop
When a ball handler gets his man on his back, then abruptly stops before violently lurching forward.
16. Reggie Miller kickWhen a player kicks his leg out on a jump shot “for balance,” but really just to draw contact and flop, a la Reggie Miller. Variation: the same, with arms.
17. Push-off flopPlayer A and Player B spar off the ball as Player A waits to sprint off a screen. As is typical, both players use hands to do a bit of holding. When Player A makes his move, with one last departing shove, Player B initiates a Shakespearean death scene.
18. Hand up, man down
Spot an opponent bringing his arms up above his head? Throw yourself upon his moving elbow and fall straight to the floor. It just might look like he elbowed you.
19. Pass and crash
When a player “takes a charge” by stepping in to absorb contact from a ball handler who has already released the pass and is trying to get out of the way. Should be distinguished from a passer who just trucks the help defender.
20. CP3 ref flop
BEWARE! EXTREME DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY!
Chris Paul (of course)
21. Knee flopWho says you have to take a body shot to flop? Quick guards, especially, can sometimes get a call by sticking a knee in front a driving player, then falling.
22. Flop on the run
There are many ways to do this one, but the idea is to use the fact that people are running -- and not set -- to initiate contact and draw a foul.
23. Flailing driveA signature play of stars like Dirk Nowitzki, Danilo Gallinari and Paul Pierce. Their size, awkward style and reactions can create the illusion of contact on their drives, or exaggerate actual contact. Can be combined with the Starfish.
24. Head bob
A variation of the flailing drive. In some cases the player resembles a bobblehead doll running down the court, or a player running the gauntlet.
Name that flop!
Did we miss any? Tell us what you would like to see on the list.
Thanks to Zach Harper for his work on HoopIdea’s Flop of the Night.
Update: We asked you to name even more flops. Here are our favorites »
12dJustin Rao and David Rothschild, Special to TrueHoop