The NBA fined Lance Stephenson $5,000 for flopping. The incident in question is the video above, and when I say “in question,” I mean “hahaha … look at this guy pretend something happened that didn’t and then lie down for a nap.” The photo above, courtesy of Sports Nation, sums up the consensus view of Lance’s antics. He was out there clowning around.
Stephenson is now the first guy to get a fine for flopping in the 2014 playoffs. He also got fined once during season (after first receiving a warning), and got fined $5,000 for a flop last postseason as well. As all Pacers’ fans know, he is a serial offender.
Still, people are wondering why Lance got fined but LeBron did not.
Below, you can see James taking a dive after some minor contact from David West.
LeBron recently compared West to Zeus, and while a lightning-bolt heaving god of gods may have the raw power send a mere King like James flying like this, I don’t think West does. Worse than the flop itself was that the refs whistled West for his third foul in the first half, which prompted Frank Vogel to take him out in favor of the increasingly awful Luis Scola.
Still, the angle on this Vine isn’t the best, and there may be more additional contact than we’re seeing. There certainly is some contact, so the foul may have been light and called unnecesarily, but James didn’t completely conjure it out of thin air. He exaggerated and acted, for sure, but — generally — the NBA has looked to punish players who try to fool officials when no contact occurred more so than punishing over-reactors.
Plus, the NBA is obviously not being super strict about levying flopping fines in the postseason. We’re into the Conference Finals and nobody had received a fine until Lance. So it’s altogether possible that — had Stephenson not been so dramatic and taken a snooze on the floor to show up the refs — he wouldn’t have had his pockets lightened either.