NBA to play role of flop cop
The NBA season begins Tuesday and for the first time, players will face the possibility of stiff punishment for trying to trick referees into a foul that wasn't warranted by flopping.
It is not merely the flopping the NBA is trying to eliminate.
It is Reggie Evans looking like he was zapped by about 10,000 volts of electricity when Memphis guard Tony Allen's arm hit him while Evans was setting a screen.
It is Dwyane Wade trying to trick referees by flinging his leg out on a jump shot and falling to the court when it makes contact with Celtics defender Mickael Pietrus.
It is Danilo Gallinari "flailing" and holding his face in a soccer-style, "gross over-embellishment" — the league's own words — after running into a screen by the Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol.
Those were some of the examples the league used in a video sent to players and teams describing what exactly will be subject to fines this season in the first year of a program aimed at curbing the kind of deceptive, and sometimes downright laughable, acting jobs by players.
Floppers, beware. The league is coming for you, and your money, this season.
The NBA season begins Tuesday with three games — Washington at Cleveland, Boston at Miami and Dallas at the Lakers — and for the first time, players will face the possibility of stiff punishment for trying to trick referees into a foul that wasn't warranted.
After games, officials will review plays that could have included an egregious flop. Everyone gets one warning before bills start piling up. The second offense will cost a player $5,000, a third will go to $10,000. Four flops and it's $15,000 and a fifth will cost $30,000.
Miami forward Shane Battier, who has been accused of flopping since his college days at Duke, said, "My fear is that they're going to find some fresh Harvard Business School intern in the league office to be the flop reviewer — flop czar, the flop czar! — fresh out of the HBS and his or her highest level of basketball probably will be intramural. And they're making some potentially lucrative financial decisions.
"So I don't know. I don't know how they're going to administer it."
Cleveland forward-center Anderson Varejao has been known to scream when there is contact and he falls to the floor.
"I'm not flopping anymore," Varejao said with a smile. "I used to flop a little bit."
Bryant's status for opener is iffy
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has missed the last week of practice with an injury and teammates finished the first winless exhibition season in franchise history.
But ready or not, the Lakers play four regular-season games in the next six days.
Bryant, the No. 5 scorer in league history, has a bruised and strained right foot. His status for Tuesday's meeting with Dallas won't be decided until close to game time.
• Dallas waived ex-Sonics guard Delonte West to make room for center Eddy Curry.
West, who has bipolar disorder, was suspended twice in a two-week span for conduct detrimental to the team. He reportedly was involved in two locker-room incidents during the exhibition season.
Mavericks standout Dirk Nowitzki is recovering from knee surgery.