Basketball, despite the obscene score lines that we witness countless times per season, is still a game of nuance.
This is a game with plenty of man-on-man coverage, after all. Your slightest move can telegraph an opponent’s weight shift, but higher level opponents will have rewired the circuitry in their brain to compensate for this, rendering your empty motions useless against them. That’s when we get the double- and triple-jukes. The spin moves. The head fakes.
Basketball is a dance in this way, where each participant is trying to knock the other off their feet without so much as touching them.
This is where fouls comes in.
These players are already anticipating the moves of their opponents, and using this in offensive actions. But what if a player becomes adept at predicting the motions of an opposing player not for the purpose of playing the game to its purist potential, but for the purpose of tricking the referees in to believing he’s been fouled?
LeBron James is now being accused by the NBA itself of such trickery.
The NBA issued a warning to LeBron James and Kyle Kuzma for violating the league’s anti-flopping rule in the team’s 115-105 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.
The incident involving James occurred with 2:35 left in the second quarter and the Grizzlies leading the Lakers 54-51. Attempting to block out Dillon Brooks of Memphis, James appears to forcefully fall to the floor after a slight nudge of the arm from Brooks.
Brooks was called for a foul on the play and James went to the line, making both free throws.
You can see the call here:
Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James received a warning for violating the league’s anti-flopping rule Feb. 12 vs. Memphis. pic.twitter.com/NovQbnBEE0
— NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) February 13, 2021
LeBron has been a notorious flopper in his last few years within the league, and fans of basketball in general will likely approve of the League taking a tougher stance on him.
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