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Posts Tagged ‘Jerryd Bayless’

Shook Ankles: The Flop

I read a great New Yorker article a few months ago about viral pandemics. How if there ever were a category in Jeopardy called “Human Race Extinction”, they’d be the answer to every question. That was the gist. We fear so many destructive forces: Terrorism/nuclear war, worldwide food and water shortages, global warming, a giant meteorite slicing through our atmosphere and emptying the Atlantic Ocean like an overweight uncle cannon balling into an above ground swimming pool. But the most dangerous thing of all could be sitting inside a Drill Monkey somewhere deep in a Cameroon jungle. Right now. As you read this.

On that solemn note I’ve widely overreached my point, which is this: Flopping in the NBA has become an unstoppable, far reaching rash. Where it started is anybody’s guess (although a staggering amount of evidence points just north of the Adriatic Sea). Players are being rewarded at a greater rate than ever before for an inability to play defense. It’s a travesty, really. I love J.J. Barea, but because he’s 5’7″ and can’t guard most of his opponents straight up doesn’t give him the right to flop all over the floor. I’m not blaming him by any means—it’d be idiotic to question the guy’s heart or toughness—but accountability should be directed at something tangible, and that happens to be the NBA’s league office. David Stern directs it all like a motion picture; he doesn’t like flopping, boom, it’s edited out.

It may be too late, but if it isn’t, basketball needs to make like hockey and soccer and penalize players who purposefully and blatantly play the referee instead of the man they’re guarding. The notion that flopping has become its own art form is vomit inducing. In actuality, all it does is water the league down with lesser talented players who’ve no choice but to act their way towards a foul if they want floor time. (Hello Derek Fisher.) It’s become so ingrained in the game, the most talented player in the world would rather receive assistance from an official than blow by Brendan Haywood.

I love Tyreke’s move not because it’s unique or capable of taking a breath away. Not because Tyreke Evans is my favorite basketball player (he isn’t). Not because Jerryd Bayless broke many a spell-check with the particulars of his first name (he has). Bayless knows he can’t guard Evans. Evans knows Bayless can’t guard him. The moment Tyreke initiates his move, Jerryd gives such effort in trying to sell an offensive foul he nearly pops out a teammate’s kneecap. I love this move because it stands for something. The referee’s swallowing of his whistle, leading to stinging embarrassment no basketball player wants to experience twice. It’s only a moment, but that one seemingly insignificant sequence represents one day ridding the league of something that’s dangerously close to ruining basketball’s integrity. Something needs to happen soon. We need a cure.

 

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