It’s award season in the NBA but commissioner David Stern is concerned his league may be veering too close to handing out Oscars.
During Sunday’s Eastern Conference semifinal opener between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers, Stern was asked what he thought about comments made by Pacers coach Frank Vogel in regards to what Vogel considered the Heat’s tendency to flop.
“(Vogel) didn’t have a beef; he was just manipulating the refereeing or trying to,” Stern said. “I would have fined him much more than our office did.”
While Stern chastised Vogel for on Thursday calling the Heat “the biggest flopping team in the NBA,” he did intimate that he sees merit in the sentiment.
“I think it’s time to look at (flopping) in a more serious way,” Stern said, “because it’s only designed to fool the referee. It’s not a legitimate play in my judgment. I recognize if there’s contact (you) move a little bit, but some of this is acting. We should give out Oscars rather than MVP trophies.”
Vogel is not the only person in the playoffs to call out an opponent for embellishing contact.
On Friday, Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph called his team’s first round opponents — the Los Angeles Clippers — the league’s biggest floppers “by far,” while being interviewed on ESPN Radio’s “The Doug Gottlieb Show.”
“It starts with Chris Paul, because Blake didn’t really used to flop like that, you know, last year,” Randolph said. “Reggie (Evans) flops, Reggie always flops. I think it started when Chris got (to the Clippers).”
While Stern didn’t call out any specific teams, he did say he has personally attempted to curb the flopping in the past.
“Some years ago I told the competition committee that we were going to start fining people for flopping, and then suspending. And I think they almost threw me out of the room (saying), ‘No, let it be.’ ”
Floppers may not receive any punishment but those that point the finger do, as Vogel had to enter his team’s second-round series with the Heat $15,000 lighter.
ESPN.com News Services