NBA’s All-Time All-Flop Teams
You know, growing up, flopping was amusing to me – only because it seemed like ONLY the biggest men on the court were the ones doing it most; Bill Laimbeer was notorious for flopping, as was Dennis Rodman (although he got away with it in fans’ eyes because it was mixed with indomitable and unforeseen hustle from the position that he played at his size). Then to see Vlade Divac, at 7’1” 260 flopping against guys 6’8” 230 constantly – really began making me hate flopping. Although Vlade was always amusing with his flopping, so much so that everyone to this day, nearly 25 years from the day that Vlade entered the NBA – the name most synonymous with flopping in the eyes and minds of NBA fans is (Great Western Forum/Staples Center Public Address Announcer Lawrence Tanter Voice) “… Vlade Divotsssssss (Divac)” — he isn’t the greatest offender of flopping, nor is he the originator. Vlade certainly didn’t know what flopping was when GM Jerry West and the Lakers’ brass picked him up at LAX while chain smoking back in ’89.
BILL LAIMBEER HAD ALREADY HELD THAT THRONE DOWN FOR YEARS PRIOR.
Here’s my list of First, Second and Third Team All-NBA All-Time All-Flop Teams:
Guard: Chris Paul.
You know you flop a lot when you have only six years in the league and two generations of floppers ahead of you. But when you flop all over the floor on BOTH ENDS, you are just going overboard with it.
Guard: Reggie Miller.
Kicking out his legs when defenders got too close for his liking, given his lack of ballhandling skills and inability to create his own shot without running 100 mph off three screens by Dale Davis, Rik Smits and Tony Davis, he also flailed his arms and threw his head back while running off those screens, often drawing foul calls — much to the annoyance of basketball purists and the guys defending him.
Forward: Dennis Rodman.
Rodman is a dichotomy. He played true hard-nosed defense, and incorporated flopping to AID in his all-around defensive game. However, he flopped recklessly, especially during the Detroit Pistons’ first championship run in 1989. It became integral to four other titles for Rodman’s Pistons and later, Bulls, after that.
Forward: Robert Horry.
People forget how much he flopped because he is most known for clutch shots on Laker and Spurs championship teams. BUT THINK BACK.
Center: Bill Laimbeer.
This dude was often the biggest guy on the court and looked like one of those fish that the Seattle fish market guys toss to one another at Seabags and Mariner’s games. He pissed guys off so much with it that both Robert Parish and Kevin McHale hauled off and socked him in separate incidents because of his flopping ways.
Guard: Danny Ainge/Derek Fisher (tie).
On top of being the whiniest, most hated player in the 80s and early 90s, Ainge flopped quite a bit when he played for Boston. And when they were at Boston Garden, with the crowd and refs behind them, Ainge ALWAYS got the call. Sickening.
Fisher flopped for 16 years in the NBA, like… well… a FISH. He only missed First Team because he actually DID play defense for the majority of his career. Once he lost his speed, however, his defense (and offense) became largely relegated to flopping, pulling and grabbing guys (in order to further induce calls, while exaggerating the contact that HE initiated in the process, no less). Chris Paul’s incessant flopping on both ends of the court has taken the “art” of flopping to a frontier that we had hoped we’d never see when Manu Ginobili’s Euro Trash-by-way-of-South America act came to the NBA a decade ago.
Speak of the devil…
Guard: Emanuel Ginobili.
Ginobili has actually toned it down in the past couple of seasons, because he is perpetually injured. However, for his first seven years in the league, there was no one who shamelessly flopped more than he did. He is most recent to blame in taking the reigns of flopping from being an exclusive to slow, plodding big men who couldn’t guard the man that was overpowering them — pause — to making it a part of every star guard’s arsenal.
Forward: Anderson Varejao.
The hair, the goofy looking face that makes you want to punch him square in the nose and then the ridiculous flopping at 6’11” 250? The fact that he always had his palms braced for the fall before there was even contact (if there was any at all) is embarrassing.
Forward: Paul Pierce.
He could have made first team. He’s definitely been doing it long enough, THAT’S for sure. The Wheelchair alone should have propelled him to First Team.
Center: Vlade Divac.
If there wasn’t a Bill Laimbeer before him, Divac would have run away with unanimous First Team honors. When guarding Shaquille O’Neal over the years, Divac almost looked like he fell through a trap door like the villains on Scooby Doo the way he fell before O’Neal even turned to face Divac on offense. But again, Vlade was so ridiculous with it that he became amusing and synonymous with flopping. I don’t know a soul, other than irrational Laker fanatics, who actually hated Divac’s flopping. As a matter of fact, some of us actually reenacted it with our friends and laughed amongst ourselves while doing so.
Guard: Rajon Rondo.
He’s actually gotten hurt a couple of times by flopping, but it still hasn’t stopped him yet.
Guard: Dwyane Wade.
This new wave of floppers does it so blatantly and recklessly that even non-basketball people stop and wonder what the hell is going on with him spending half the game on the floor when no one’s touched him in some of these cases.
Forward: LeBron James.
There hasn’t been a physical specimen like LeBron James in the NBA. EVER. None of the Top 50 greatest players ever (non-Guards) sought out to make a living by flopping like this guy has, and yet and still people still want to lump him in with true competitors. Get off your ass and stop hitting the floor. There are only eight guys in the entire league who are big enough to cause you to go stumbling to the floor like you heard gunshots in South Central Los Angeles.
Forward: Reggie Evans.
Evans was actually a pretty decent all-around player in college. His entire NBA career has consisted of nothing but dirty fouls, FLOPPING TO THE EXTREME (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvQM5VYJokw) and being a knock-off version of an “enforcer” (he’d be missing a dozen teeth if he played the way he does now back in the 70s and 80s when REAL enforcers lurked around the paint).
Forward/Center: Pau Gasol.
If it’s not the grunting, growling, barking (all while no one’s even touching him), then he’s sledding on his back when 175-lb guards graze past him in the lane. In the annals of history, no noted flopper ever gets true lasting recognition as a great player when so much of their game consists of flopping. Gasol MIGHT be the first to defy this, but if he keeps it up, he won’t.
World B. Free.