With the NBA instituting their new policy against flopping, there has been a lot of controversy about the issue. LeBron James even said flopping could be okay if given the right situation. Let’s take a look at the best floppers in the history of the league.
Here are the top ten floppers in NBA history:
10. Rip Hamilton
Believe it or not: Rip Hamilton used to be a serviceable NBA player, and a championship player at that. Before he was warming the Bulls bench, Hamilton was running off screens like it was nobody’s business. Occasionally, to say the least, Hamilton may embellish some contact, though apparently not enough, as he could only reach number ten on this list.
9. Shane Battier
Shane Battier is mostly known for being a winner, a glue-guy that is a championship caliber role player. He’s also known for flopping with the best of them. Battier once said he has been told by referees to flop in order to sell contact. That would explain plays like this:
8. Paul Pierce
Here’s a smooth transition, as Battier’s previous flop video was against this man, Paul Pierce. Pierce, along with a knack for flopping, has also mastered the “OH” yell in order to demand the referee’s attention. I actually count three flops on this Finals possession against Kobe Bryant:
7. Derek Fisher
Fisher being so high on this list just gives you an idea of how many guys have really mastered the art of the flop. Some guys do it better, but few do it with the passion and pride of Fisher. The Fisher advocates like to say Fisher is great at “taking charges,” which is really just a euphemism for this Olympic-like flopping. I say Olympic-like, because look at this synchronization with Kevin Martin! Omer Asik must have transformed into Shaq:
I was ready to put LeFlop James in this spot, but co-founder Andy Flint told me Wade has been flopping much longer than the King. As usual, Mr. Flint is on point. Let’s take a look at Dwyane Wade getting shot by Brandon Bass… props to the refs for not calling this one:
5. Reggie Miller
Now we are getting down to the flopping kings. Reggie Miller, who I presume was Rip Hamilton’s role model for his style of play and flopping habits, was outdone by the hall of fame Indiana Pacer in both regards. I’m not saying anything Reggie wouldn’t tell you himself. Semi-related: Let’s watch Reggie Miller acting like he’s about that life with Michael Jordan, and MJ hitting him with a nice hook. Old school NBA, we miss you so.
Its odd how many of these guys are actually really good, championship caliber players. Ainge was the OG of flopping. He was embellishing contact before it was cool to do so. For that, he was bumped a couple of spots on this list, but couldn’t quite crack the top three. That’s okay, I am sure he will live, championship rings tend to cushion “blows” like this.
The trendsetter for flopping in the league today, Mr. Manu Ginobili. Luckily for Ginobili, he has another trademark in this league, his should be patented “euro-step.” However, the man can flop like no other in the league today, though he may be a bit past his flopping prime. Let’s look at Manu in all his flopping glory:
2. Bill Laimbeer
Laimbeer is not only high on this list because of his ability to flop, but also because of the irony that such a flopper would be part of a team known as the “Bad Boys.” Laimbeer was also known as an enforcer, and the fact he flopped simultaneously just makes it all the more hilarious. Thomas Neumann broke down some of Bill Laimbeer’s best flopping moments in his floppers list. I think they are worthy of your time:
A sampling of memorable Laimbeer moments:
• Accused by Chris Webber on Nov. 28, 1993 of flopping on a rebound attempt 70 seconds into the game, then sticking his leg out and causing Webber to sprain his ankle and leave the game — the only scoreless regular-season appearance of Webber’s career.
• The Mavericks reportedly once used clips of Laimbeer flops as an instructional tool.
• Accused by Portland’s Kevin Duckworth of flopping throughout the 1990 NBA Finals.
• His flopping performances in nearly every playoff matchup against Robert Parish and the Celtics in the mid-to-late 1980s are legendary.
1. Vlade Divac
Ah, Vlade. I am proud to crown you King of the Flop. You worked hard to get there, and beat out a fierce group of competitors. The best part? When you say you don’t know what flopping is. More from Newumann’s piece:
Who could forget the images of Divac’s body flying to and fro in a flopping fiesta in the 2002 Western Conference finals? “I don’t know what is flopping,” Divac said in a 2002 ESPN article by Marc Stein. “I think Derek Fisher does a better job of that than I do. It’s taking a charge. It’s for the refs to decide. … I’m going to play like I’ve been playing my whole career.”
Of course you don’t, Vlade. But, don’t take my word for it, just ask Commissioner David Stern, and some other NBA players: