Cuban funds flopping study
While NBA commissioner David Stern says the league needs to expand its anti-flopping rules, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is funding a study on the practice.
One of Cuban's companies has provided $100,000 to Southern Methodist University for an 18-month investigation of the forces involved in basketball collisions. The goal is to figure out whether video or other motion-capture techniques can distinguish between legitimate collisions and instances of flopping.
"The research findings could conceivably contribute to video reviews of flopping and the subsequent assignment of fines," SMU biomechanics expert Peter G. Weyand, who leads the research team, said in a statement.
Cuban tweeted: "Is it a flop? Let the scientists figure it out . im paying for the research to find out."
Stern said Thursday that stronger flopping penalties will be on the agenda when the NBA's competition committee meets next week in San Antonio.
This season, the league instituted a video-review system that retroactively fined players for flopping. But only five players were fined $5,000 apiece in the regular season, and seven more have been fined that amount in the playoffs.
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Stern hinted at increasing the penalty for those found guilty of flopping.
"It isn't enough, it isn't enough," Stern said in his annual pre-NBA Finals news conference. "You're not going to cause somebody to stop it for $5,000 when the average player's salary is $5.5 million. And anyone who thought that was going to happen was allowing hope to prevail over reason."
As part of the policy, a player could be fined up to $30,000 for five violations and a suspension on the sixth. A total of 19 players were given warnings during the season, and no player was assessed more than a $5,000 fine. Stern said this was part of "gently" phasing in the system.
"We could end it immediately if we decided to suspend players," Stern said. "But that might be a little Draconian at the moment."
Information from ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst was used in this report.