There’s been an awful lot of flop talk revolving around the Clippers, so here’s Andrew Han weighing in with his thoughts on the benefits of the flop:
After watching the good name of Blake Griffin besmirched these many months as a wretched flopper, the floppiest flip flop to ever flounder, I wanted to bring a little perspective to the #StoptheFlop campaign against “Flop City”.
Blake Griffin has only been in the league a short time, but he’s already viewed as one of the faces of the NBA; his highlight dunks already ensconced in the Sportscenter, Youtube and Twitter hall of fame. If you watch a lot of Clipper games, you know Blake has another patented move: the whiplash head-jerk flop. It’s a great move employed by many a professional basketball player, and a necessary one.
When Blake first came onto the scene last year, he flopped very infrequently. As a rookie, he didn’t know any better. Blake took a ton of abuse and was not privy to calls that established stars enjoy. It was a tenuous balance between awing over spectacular plays and dreading the imminent violence Griffin endured simply by playing the game.
This erupted last season at the end of the second meeting between the Clippers and the Lakers. With the upset in hand, the game already won, Griffin worked hard against Lamar Odom for a rebound to a free throw. Odom did not appreciate this and, what would be common this season, a tussle ensued. Odom and Artest were ejected. Baron Davis was ejected. Technicals were handed out like Halloween candy. And, in my opinion, this is the genesis of Blake’s education in flopping.
He was never going to give less effort in a game. Griffin is not wired that way and that is what makes him so appealing to fans. But in developing some “flop” ability, it prevents opposing teams from punishing him in a way that is reserved for the largest of NBA players (i.e. Shaq, Dwight Howard). Griffin’s flops draw attention to all the uncalled fouls committed against him (like the recent Clippers win v. the Thunder when Sefolosha grabbed Griffin’s elbow on a dunk late in the game). And there are many that go uncalled.
And Chris Paul, who was recently voted First Team All-Flop by HoopIdea? If Paul did not flop, he would probably not last 5 more seasons. A great example of this would be Kyrie Irving, who has been favorably compared to Chris Paul throughout his sensational rookie campaign. Irving is not yet a noted flopper and has suffered for it, missing significant time this season because of all the injuries a smaller player endures in the league. Chris Paul also missed time earlier in his career because he would go careening fearlessly through defenses. There’s something admirable about taking the abuse in silence without the benefit of foul calls. There is also something admirable about being healthy enough to lead your team to a deep playoff run.
And this is why I take offense with comments like those that Monty Williams directed towards the Clippers (Charlie Widdoes sums it up nicely on a post below): He would rather teams benefit from all the uncalled fouls, letting defenses maul interior players, than accept the various flops that happen throughout a game that keep abusive defenders in check. I, for one, would rather take a few flops with healthy players than watch our best talents wear down before their time.
And then there’s the Reggie Evans flop, which is so exaggerated it just makes you smile.