Pinch me. I have to be dreaming. Wait. I don't see Gwen Stefani naked and covered in JELL-O brand gelatin. I guess I'm awake. But, then, can it be? Is the NBA really going to crack down on the Great Flopping Menace? The answer to this question seems to be ... continued after the cut. (Gotcha!)
Yes. The answer is yes. The NBA has announced to its teams that, starting as soon as the Lakers and Spurs are finished using them (i.e., next season), players will be fined for each and every clear case of flopping. What is a "flop," you ask? First off, let me welcome you to our world, mysterious spaceman from a distant planet. Please don't disintegrate me with your laser-eyes. Second, here is a fun little example of flopping, starring Baron Davis.
The league office hasn't established the exact fine amounts for flop crimes against humanity, nor how the fines might increase for the sinners who cannot be saved. However, we do know this: In-game arena observers (the Flop Police?) and video reviewers (Flop Scene Investigators?) will include any occurrences of "theatrical flopping" in their postgame reports on "officiating and other matters" (officially known as the Stern Tattletale Statement).
Since every major rule change must be accompanied by an official quote from some high muckety-muck, NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson said: "What was clearly expressed to the committee is that we would begin imposing fines next season for the most egregious type of flops. When players are taking a dive, for lack of a better term." You mean like...this?
Since the flop penal system — heh, I said "penal" — hasn't been completed, there's no way to know whether serial floppers like Hannibal Ginobili and Chris "Killer Clown" Paul will be subject to possible suspensions after a certain number flop convictions. But I kind of hope the NBA adopts Jeff Van Gundy's suggestion of making them wear a scarlet "F" on their uniform. Either that or ritualistic castration. Whichever.
For further reading: Go to the NBA Flops blog.