The Jazz's loss to the Clippers on Monday night hinged on several plays, including a late foul call on a Chauncey Billups three-point attempt. Billups made two of the resulting free throw attempts, helping the Clippers to a 105-104 win that still has Jazz players upset.
The play drew the Jazz's ire because Billups appeared to embellish what little contact there was as Jazz guard Mo Williams leaped to challenge the shot. This year, the NBA has finally instituted rules to curtail this brand of "flopping" by issuing warnings, fines and suspensions.
So far this season, six NBA players have received warnings, and one has been fined. Check out the plays that earned the reprimands and see if you think Billups deserves similar punishment. (The NBA's official video on its flopping policy is embedded below.)
Cavaliers guard Donald Sloan attempts to cover Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich as he brings the ball up the court. Bulls center Nazr Mohammed sets a mid-court screen, and Sloan pirouettes to the floor, limbs flying.
No foul was called during the game, but Sloan later received the NBA's first official warning for flopping.
Barea is covering Kings guard Jimmer Fredette as he comes off of several back-screens and ends up with the ball on the left wing. As Fredette starts his drive, he extends his forearm into Barea's chest, and Barea whips his head and arms backward as if struck in the face.
Fredette was called for a foul on the play, but the NBA later issued a warning to Barea.
This play is most similar to the call that went against the Jazz on Monday night. Martin receives the ball on the left wing and attempts a three-pointer as the Pistons' Jonas Jerebko closes on him. Like Billups against the Jazz, Martin embellishes the contact and crumples to the floor, earning three free throws.
"I've seen a lot of basketball from the time the first warnings were issued and the time Martin received this one, and I can tell you there have been far worse offenders than this," ProBasketballTalk writer Brett Pollakoff wrote of the play. "But the league is clearly trying to send a message, one that says in part that they’d like to eliminate players trying to get a favorable call from the officials by falling down intentionally after receiving minimal contact on a shot attempt."
Martin was warned by the NBA but not fined.
Evans has the dubious distinction of being the first NBA player to receive a fine for flopping.
After a fair bit of (uncalled) contact on a rebound attempt, Evans wins the ball, gives it to teammate Jerry Stackhouse, and trots across midcourt with Metta World Peace guarding him. Metta places a hand on his back, and Evans flails his arms and throws himself toward the sideline. World Peace is called for a foul.
According to the Los Angeles Times, World Peace enjoyed hearing about Evans' subsequent fine. But he was upset that Evans' teammate, Gerald Wallace, did not face a similar penalty.
(We'll get to Wallace in a moment.)
This is probably what most NBA fans would think of as a flopping situation: attempting to draw a charge on contact in the low post. Here, Patterson falls backward as Knicks center Tyson Chandler turns and attempts a shot. No foul was called on the play.
"This type of flop was specifically called out in the NBA's official video introducing its flopping policy," Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver pointed out.
This isn't the play that previously upset Lakers forward Metta World Peace, but it's even more egregious.
After beating Wallace to an inbounds pass, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony extends his forearm as both players enter the frontcourt. Wallace flails his arms and backpedals for several feet as a foul is called.
Wallace is the second Nets player to receive a warning, after Reggie Evans' warning and fine.
Now that you've seen the other flops that have garnered NBA warnings, take a look at Billups' attempt against the Jazz on Monday night.
At the time of the play, the Jazz were ahead by two, and the Clippers could have taken the lead with 1:14 remaining in the game. Billups, an excellent free-throw shooter, made only two of his three attempts, giving the Jazz a shot at a comeback that ultimately fell short.
"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," Jazz coach Ty Corbin told Deseret News reporter Jody Genessy. "Mo did a good job of challenging the shot. I thought he tried to get to the side of it."