ESPNIt’s award season in the NBA but commissioner David Stern is concerned his league may be veering too close to handing out Oscars. During Sunday’s Eastern Conference semifinal opener between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers, Stern was asked what he thought about comments made by Pacers coach Frank Vogel in regards to what Vogel considered the Heat’s tendency to flop. “(Vogel) didn’t have a beef; he was just manipulating the refereeing or trying to,” Stern said. “I would have fined him much more than our office did.” While Stern chastised Vogel for on Thursday calling the Heat “the biggest flopping team in the NBA,” he did intimate that he sees merit in the sentiment. “I think it’s time to look at (flopping) in a more serious way,” Stern said, “because it’s only designed to fool the referee. It’s not a legitimate play in my judgment. I recognize if there’s contact (you) move a little bit, but some of this is acting. We should give out Oscars rather than MVP trophies.”

Stern’s comments are interesting; never heard the head of a league come out against gamesmanship/flopping before. It’s refreshing and surprising, especially coming from David Stern. Stern, by personality standards, is a colossal dickhole. But David Stern the commissioner cleaned up the NBA’s once horrid drug problem, found a way to make a sport filled with urban blacks appealing to middle-class whites, and in many ways turned the league into the envy of the international community. Now with butter-soft Euro players and 3-time MVP’s faking fouls left and right, is ridding the league of flopping the next logical step?

Personally, I’d love to see some sort of fine system initiated for flopping. Suspension seems too severe and while taking away a foul call or reversing a call based on a flop might be the least severe, asking refs to separate falls from flops might have too big of an impact on the outcome of the game. Fining guys is a happy medium where injury fakers like LeBron would not only lose a bit of money for their tactics, but more importantly face the public shame of their Flop Fine being on Sportscenter for a week straight. Would it be hard to regulate? Yes. But this might be the only way to stop American sports from devolving into soccer’s ridiculous cart-me-off-the-pitch-with-a-cramp flop-happy vaginal mentality.

What are your thoughts? Should the NBA punish floppers?

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