Big Mac Blog

Fort Worth Star Telegram sports writer Mac Engel covered the research of SMU biomechanics expert Peter G. Weyand, who is teaming with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to investigate the forces involved in basketball collisions and the possibility of estimating “flopping” forces from video data.

The coverage in Engel’s The Big Mac Blog, “Eliminate flopping? Godspeed, Mark Cuban,” was posted June 11.

Flopping is a player’s deliberate act of falling, or recoiling unnecessarily from a nearby opponent, to deceive game officials. Athletes engage in dramatic flopping to create the illusion of illegal contact, hoping to bait officials into calling undeserved fouls on opponents.

The phenomenon is considered a widespread problem in professional basketball and soccer. To discourage the practice, the National Basketball Association in 2012 began a system of escalating fines against NBA players suspected of flopping, including during the playoffs, “NBA announces anti-flopping rules for playoffs.”

The Cuban-owned company Radical Hoops Ltd. awarded a grant of more than $100,000 to fund the 18-month research study at SMU.

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By Mac Engel
Star Telegram

Must be great to have Mark Cuban cash.

In front of Mark is a pile of $100,000 that he can:
a.) Burn
b.) Issue a research grant on NBA players flopping.

The obvious choice is B, all the way. This is the definition of money well spent.

Since Cuban bought the Mavs no one in the NBA has leaned on the league for a better product, from the fan experience to the refs to now – no flopping. Refs in the NBA have sucked for years, they still do, because it’s an impossible job and the only good ref is the one you don’t notice.

It’s odd – when the Mavs won the NBA title in 2011, the refs were incredible. Probably just a coincidence.

Now Cuban is working on the widespread epidemic of NBA flopping by granting $100K to SMU to solve this massive crisis.

Only there is no solution, even the best player Cuban agrees this is a fruitless exercise.

“I think we’re trying; you’re never going to get rid of it but you have to limit it,” Dirk Nowitzki told a small group of reporters on Monday at a Dallas YMCA. “I think it’s also part of sports. In any sports, it’s a part. It’s part of winning. Some people are smart; some people do a little extra thing to sell a call. To me, that’s part of sports. You don’t want to be obvious; the really, really bad ones you’d love to get rid of those.

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