Our hardworking team of unpaid ESPN Playbook interns was able to secure access to a never-before-seen addition to James Naismith’s original rules for basketball, giving instructions on how to deal with flopping.
Could Naismith’s words put an end to the NBA’s flopping epidemic? You be the judge.
• • •
Among the most cancerous threats to the virtue of basket ball is what is known as a “flop.” The flop occurs when one player voluntarily exaggerates the foul -- or perhaps non-foul -- by an opponent for his own competitive advantage. One player, when gently shoved by another, might for instance fall dramatically to the floor and convulse for many minutes, until either the umpire rules a foul in his favor or the medic steadies him with an injection of hog paste.
Just as we cannot allow men younger than 11 years onto the battlefield, so must this behavior be forbidden from our gentlemanly pursuit.
Gameplay should be fluid, halted only occasionally for funeral processions, traveling circuses or to flog those suspected of harboring polio.
The game may also be stopped to fire cannons loaded with promotional frocks onto the contest’s spectators. But flopping shall not be tolerated, as it’s an affront to one’s dignity, and must be acknowledged with only the coldest rebuke.
It seems, however, that flopping -- an endeavor as wicked as hand-clapping, scotch-hopping and eye contact -- could take infectiously to a team’s strategy. Thus, a remedy should be swiftly prescribed should a man come down with the flopping sickness:
Each flop shall be punished with a demerit.
Upon earning three demerits, a player will be forced to eat a bowl of very hot broth without the luxury of blowing on it. His mouth shall be tender for a fortnight.
After five demerits, a man will be required to shave the heads of his wife and daughters. If he has no daughters, he must shave his beard and raise it as his daughter, which shall be awkward at family reunions.
Seven demerits: NO PIZZA HUT WITH THE TEAM.
At nine demerits, the offender shall be forbidden from any recreational activities for an entire month, including rigorous manual labor, exorcism banquets, rolling over waterfalls in barrels, bison hangings and delousing festivals.
Following the 10th demerit, the player will be sent to join the basket ball team in Miami, which is notorious for flopping. Also: All of its players are lepers. If you value your limbs, play fairly.
• Also see from the Page 2 Vault: James Naismith's lost rules for basket ball