Stern: Flopping fines not enough
MIAMI -- With players, coaches and fans continuing to complain about the widespread practice of flopping, NBA commissioner David Stern said the league needs to expand its anti-flopping rules.
The issue will be taken up at the NBA's competition committee meeting scheduled for next week in San Antonio.
This season, the league instituted a system that retroactively fined players for flopping after video review. But only five players were fined $5,000 in the regular season and seven more have been fined that amount in the playoffs.
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."
It isn't enough, it isn't enough. 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.” -- David Stern
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."
Stern said a year into the program, the league has the information to evaluate what increasing the frequency and depth of the penalties would do. But he wasn't sure how much stricter the policy could be for next season.
"I think we have the data. I don't know if we have the stomach," Stern said. "And we'll have to wait and see what happens with the competition committee and the board [of governors]."
In addition to flopping, Stern said the committee will review the referees' replay procedure. That could include moving all replay decisions to a centralized location where an off-site official would make a quicker and more informed ruling. Such a system is currently in place in the NHL.