This article will be going against what I typically do with defending legitimate claims and predictions with facts, rather, this article will be entirely my opinion alone based on what I see from players when I watch games and how I view their play-style. The scary thing about this list is that most of these players are all-stars. Which just shows that flopping has become way to big of a thing in the NBA and it all started with refs giving star treatment to certain players. Regardless, it’s now time to make fun of these guys for their horrific crimes against the sanctity of basketball.
Honorable Mention: LeBron James, Cleveland SF I know that when I made this list that no matter what I said or didn’t say about LBJ, people will get mad. Those who hate LeBron say he’s the biggest flopper of all time and doesn’t use his incredible strength. LeBron lovers will say he’s the goat and simply dismiss the facts altogether. In my opinion, during his Miami stint, the King’s flop frequency was incredible and was hard to watch at times. But since his return to Cleveland, he’s embraced more of an honest attitude when it comes to contact. However, he’ll still get caught in his old ways from time to time, and when you’re the best, everything you do will have a spotlight on it.
5. Dwayne Wade, Chicago SG I’m tired of announcers and broadcasters praising Wade non-stop while Bulls games are on. Yes, he’s a hall of famer, but so are a lot of guys, and unlike Wade, they’re still in their prime. But really, Wade’s flopping just makes me more enraged when watching him play. It all started back in his legendary 2006 NBA Finals where his heroics (and the heroics of dreadfully bad refs Dick Bavetta and Bennet Salvatore) gave Miami a title. He got all the calls in that series and simply shot enough free throws to beat the infuriated Mavs, and ever since he’s expected to get every single call like he did back then, which he usually does, but still. Every time there’s any bit of contact on his flying, I’m not as athletic anymore, out of control drives, he dives to the floor immediately, and if he doesn’t get the call, he’ll waste time barking at the refs who usually bail him out. Wade simply flops way to much and gets on my nerves. He does have an occasional moment of toughness though, so I can’t put him higher on the list.
4. Ersan Illyasova, Philadelphia PF Ersan flies under the radar as a flopper due to him being (a) not a superstar and (b) playing for one of the worst teams in the league. But I’m a Sixers fan, and I watch almost all of their games, and trust me, Ersan flops a lot. He currently leads the league in charges taken with 9 through 19 games, and he tries to draw a charge about every other possession. And I like Ersan, he’s been a positive addition to the struggling Sixers, but it’s just an undeniable fact that he developed a flopping nature while playing in the Euro Leagues. There’s not much to say about Ersan’s flops: he gets bumped, he falls down, he gets the call, he gets up. That’s it. He’s not getting star treatment (obviously), he’s just a trained professional in the art of flopping.
3. James Harden, Houston SG Harden is an expected name on this list. This can be evidenced by how he’s led the league in free throws each of the last two years. He loves to do his patented over-exaggerated, euro step, throw the ball up in the air, flail my arms, and throw my head back move, which referees give him the call on every time. But there’s something to appreciate about Harden, because he’s the smartest flopper in the NBA. He times everything just perfectly by forcing so much contact that the officials are forced to make a ridiculous call. He’s even perfected the form of 3 point flopping, where he senses a defender’s arm resting on his shooting hand, and then he instantly raises into an awkward “I;m only doing this for the foul call” releases. And it works. And while it’s very smart of him, it’s still not fun to watch flops.
2. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City PG I did it. I put everyone’s favorite players into a list of those who are despised for their acts. And he deserves it. Why, cause his flops are horrendously bad and he does them on jump shots rather than lay-ups. It’s somewhat understandable to flop on lay-ups, cause in the NBA, you”ll always receive contact when going to the hoop, so you do have reason to fall if you’ve been hit. But Russ, he always, and I mean always, kicks his legs out when he’s going up on his pull up jumpers. He doesn’t even get grazed, but he’ll always kick his long legs his legs in both directions, land on the ground so he can’t get back on defense, and then bark relentlessly at the official. It’s just so infuriating to watch such a wonderful and gifted player waste his talent and try to cheat while playing basketball. One of the worst things about him is that he’ll still do this during clutch situations, if not more. The game that I remember in the particular was the crazy Nick Young Game Winner contest between OKC and the Lakers. He must’ve flailed his legs 3 times in the last few minutes, and in a memorable play, he purposely fell to the ground while pulling up on Mozgov without being touched and not even having anyone within 5 feet of him. And to make things worse, he’s the reason Nick Young won the game because he was covering Swaggy P, and simply, forgot to guard him. It was just disgusting. I just don’t like Westbrook’s flops.
- Marcus Smart, Boston PG This is not a surprise to big NBA fans. Smart has been immortalized in his young career for his many egregious flops. The most memorable of all is definitely the one near the end of game 3 of the Hawks-Celtics series last year. He simply ran in for a rebound, and for no reason at all, jumped into a hawks’ player’s back and went flying 6 feet out of bounds, kicking his legs the whole way down. It was down right hysterical. The sad thing is, I like Smart as a player. He’s an absolute fighter, doing whatever the coaches tell him to and guarding players who are far taller than him. However, he can’t be considered a fighter due to his tendency to flop in ridiculous fashion. I see Russ flop as much as he does, but considering Russ plays twice as many minutes, the flops per playing time rate are just too much for Smart.