Barea: New NBA flopping rule won't change his style

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 4, 2012 - 9:25 AM

The union filed a grievance over a proposed league rule to fine players for overselling contact.

MANKATO - The Timberwolves on Wednesday greeted news that the NBA intends to fine players for "flopping" with reactions that ranged from unconcerned to a willing suspension of disbelief.

Big Nikola Pekovic simply shrugged when told the league wants to warn a player once during the regular season and then fine him $5,000 for a first offense to as much as $30,000 for a fifth offense if he reacts too theatrically in an attempt to draw a favorable foul call.

"I never flop," Pekovic said. "No, I'm fine. I just know, for me, I don't have to worry because I know I'm not a flopper."

Little J.J. Barea, too, contended that he need not worry, even though sometimes you'd swear he's also a member of the Screen Actors Guild as well as the NBA players association.

"They've got to put in new rules every year, so that's their job," he said. "I'm going to play the same way since I was a kid, so whatever happens, happens."

Those hefty fines will never happen if the aforementioned players union gets its way. The union announced Wednesday evening that it will file a grievance with the league and an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Boards that challenge the proposed fine system because it was not collectively bargained during last year's labor-agreement negotiations.

The NBA's Competition Committee and Board of Governors both decided players who are deemed during a postgame video review -- at the league offices in New York -- to have flopped will receive an automatic penalty after one warning.

"Flops have no place in our game," NBA Basketball Operations Executive Vice President Stu Jackson said in a statement. "They either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call."

They also have apparently annoyed fans and a certain NBA television commentator.

"I know Van Gundy was always yelling about it when I was watching the games," Wolves veteran guard Brandon Roy said, referring to former NBA coach and current TV commentator Jeff Van Gundy. "Maybe the commissioner heard him."

Even though his union later protested, Roy said he approves of the fine system after Wednesday's practice.

"I'm all on board for it," he said. "I thought the flopping was not good for the game."

Of course, Roy doesn't consider himself a flopper. Neither does Kevin Love, who considers as much as a $30,000 fine excessive.

"It's going to be a lot of money given to the league," the All-Star forward said. "I'd rather give that money to my parents. I hope that money goes to a place like St. Jude's or Children's Charity hospital."

Coach Rick Adelman isn't convinced such a step is needed.

"It seems like part of the game where the officials make the judgment," he said. "I don't know what calls they're talking about. I don't know if it really needed to be addressed. But I think if they do it the right way and figure it out ..."

Pekovic is confident he need not worry. But when asked if Barea should be concerned, he laughed and said, "I don't want to talk about that. Could you just keep that question?"

OK, so it was saved for Barea, who often goes sprawling across the floor after he establishes defensive position against an oncoming opposing guard.

"If they push me, I've got to fall," he said. "We'll see what happens."

Notes

• Retired Brad Miller was at Wednesday's second day of training camp, working with the big men on the finer points of Adelman's offense at the coach's request. Miller, who spent last season with the Wolves, considers a few days spent in Mankato a chance to see if he wants to pursue coaching. He also plans, of course, to do some hunting in the mornings.

"I think he got lost," Adelman said. "Actually, he got more done today in camp that he did all last year. I just think it's good. He was such a smart player."

• Roy declared himself feeling better on Wednesday than he did in Tuesday's nearly four-hour practice. Wednesday's practice was a mere three hours and Roy was held out at the end after the opening minutes of scrimmage to save him for long practices Thursday and Friday.

 • Forward Dante Cunningham was held out of the end of practice because he tweaked his ankle, but Chase Budinger returned to practice fully after sitting out some Tuesday because of a lingering sore hamstring.

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