SALT LAKE CITY — Mo Williams chuckled when asked about the NBA giving Chauncey Billups an official warning for the flop he performed in Monday night's game between the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers.
"Guess it was bad call," Williams said. "We lost the game, so it don't help us."
That summed up the general reaction the Jazz had Wednesday in response to the league's action. It wasn't exactly a consolation or vindication, and it didn't address the fact the Jazz still ended up losing to the Clippers 105-104 at ESA.
"It's like Monday morning quarterbacking," Jazz guard Earl Watson said. "It's too late. It doesn't matter."
With Utah up two and just more than a minute remaining, Billups shot a 3-pointer and was contested by Williams. After heaving up his trey try, Billups pushed off of the Jazz player's chest.
And then he flopped to the floor.
NBA referee Dick Bavetta fell for it and called a foul, even though replays clearly show he went to Billups' left side and did not initiate any contact.
Billups hit two of three free throws, tying the game the Clippers went on to win despite trailing by 14 points at one time and 10 in the fourth quarter.
"Does us a lot of good now. Game's over. We're moving on," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said before Utah moved on to beat Orlando 87-81. "We still have a loss. I thought we might have been right. This shows that we are right."
In the NBA's new flopping policy, the league reviews questionable calls and punishes players for participating in "any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player."
Players get an initial warning, but the fines start to rack up after that. The second violation incurs a $5,000 fine, with each proceeding flop becoming increasingly costly — from $10,000 for the third flop to $30,000 for the fifth violation. After that, players are subject to larger fines and suspension.
"I think it's good for the game to try to get flopping out as much as you can," Corbin said.
In the locker room that night, Williams only sighed and didn't verbalize a response when asked about the foul call with 1:14 remaining in Monday's loss.
Corbin called it a "big call" and admitted the Jazz saw it a different way.
“I thought it may have been an offensive foul because one of the points of emphasis (for officials) is you can’t flail your arms and legs out," Corbin said that night. "Mo did a good job of challenging the shot. I thought he tried to get to the side of it."
Watson isn't sure if the NBA's new policy deters players from flopping.
"I'm not a flopper, so I'm not sure what it will do to those who flop," Watson said. "If it's a play that you feel like it can change the game, what's more important – winning or $5,000 or a warning?"
Watson turned the tables in the pregame interview.
"Who was the first flopper in the NBA? That's the best question," he said. "Write an article on that."
Anyone have Vlade Divac's contact information?
"Vlade was one of the first ones guys started noticing a lot," Corbin said, "because he was so big and he did it so frequent."
Corbin admitted the former Kings/Lakers center "was good" at flopping but didn't exactly pin it on him.
"I hate to put it on a foreign guy, though, but a lot of it started when we started getting more international players in there," Corbin said. "I guess it was how they played the game over there."3 comments on this story
So far, though, Brooklyn's Reggie Evans and Gerald Wallace are the only NBA players who have tallied two flopping violations and a $5,000 fine this season. However, Billups became the seventh NBA player to be warned.
The list of players with one flop warning includes Billups, Cleveland's Donald Sloan, Minnesota's JJ Barea, Oklahoma's Kevin Martin and Houston's Patrick Patterson.
It might come to some NBA fans' surprise that the San Antonio Spurs, even Manu Ginobili, have not yet been warned for flopping.