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Friday, October 12, 2012
The HoopIdea Guide to Flops

By Beckley Mason

Chris Paul, Raymond Felton
Using a variety of moves, Chris Paul is one of the biggest floppers in the game. See for yourself.
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." Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


2. Starfish
When a driving player loses the ball, it's time to starfish! Show us full extension on those arms and legs! Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


3. Salmon
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. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


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. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


5. Velcro
Player “gets stuck” fighting over/under/through a screen and exaggerates the contact. Usually involves flailing rather than falling down. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


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. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


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. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


8. And-one!
Yelling as though contact is there when there is none. Perfectly timed, it’s tough for a referee to resist. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


9. Not in the face!
Faking injury. A classic of the genre, lifted straight from the soccer field. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


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. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


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. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


12. Lock and flail
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. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


13. Delayed ball flop
Basketball tactics, meet theatrical comedy. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


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. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


15. Stop and flop
When a ball handler gets his man on his back, then abruptly stops before violently lurching forward. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


16. Reggie Miller kick
When 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. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


17. Push-off flop
Player 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. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


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. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


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. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


20. CP3 ref flop
BEWARE! EXTREME DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY! Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


21. Knee flop
Who 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. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


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. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


23. Flailing drive
A 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. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links


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. Suggest a new name | Name the players who do this | Send video links



Name that flop!
Did we miss any? Tell us what you would like to see on the list.

Suggest another type of flop | Name the players who do this | Send video links

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 »