To Flop or Not to Flop

Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman


This year, “floppers” will pay, says the NBA, in a big way.
There will be fines, some players may mind, may even whine.
Manu Ginobili, primo flopper most nobly as he’s known globally,
will probably be most affected.
For when Manu flops, his moves are so smooth, it takes weeks
before they’re detected.
Manu’s flops are legendary, some say a Divacish-full-body,
after the Serb seven-footer named Vlade.
Vlade’s flops were so wet, leaving lots of flop sweat,
pooled up like a dewy gooey back-haired pet.

Oh slap me, before I become Slappy White. Thanks, I needed that.

Here’s what we find funny about NBA commissioner Stern’s proclamation. Players will be fined for “theatrical flopping”. In other words if you fool the refs, you’re a good actor and the better you are as an actor, the more you’ll be fined. Not exactly the goal of the Stanislavski method taught by Lee Strasberg. What is the NBA to do, employ acting coaches, Shakespearian bards on the bench to critique the acting? Will there be a “Hamlet” rule?

Will Reggie Miller, considered the greatest offensive flopper in NBA history, soliloquy Act 3, scene 1 from the broadcast booth when discussing Derek Fisher?

“To flop or not to flop, that is the question.  Whether it is nobler on the court to suffer the fines and scorns of outrageous rulings… “

Will Ray Allen, never considered much of a flopper, but given accolades for his Jesus Shuttlesworth acting role in the Spike Lee/Denzel Washington movie “He Got Game” ponder Hamlet Act 2, scene 2 from the sidelines:

“What a piece of work is Basketball, how noble a game, how infinite in skills, in form and movements that express actions – not unlike angels defying gravity.”

Will Charles Barkley chime in on the flopping with own little piece just because he can’t resist?  “This flopping is jest turrible. Turrible, turrible.  Double dribble, toil and trouble.”

It seems to us you can’t legislate acting as a part of a sport. That’s the cool part of many sports. A point guard is heading down court giving all indications he’s passing to the right, fooling even the camera man, and then at the last second passes left. That’s acting.  It takes an extremely ambitious commissioner to think he can control such things. But, if there were ever such an ambitious man it would be David Stern. And all the Shakespearian coaches will know it.
They knew it from Julius Caesar. They knew it in Act 2, scene 3 when Marc Antony spoke at Caesar’s funeral:
“Ambition should be made of David Stern-er stuff.”

To which we say to all the Shakespeare coaches “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown but not for David Stern, for though he be short, is a tower of strength, every inch a king.”


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