The fines showed exactly why flopping isn't going anywhere in the NBA.
LeBron and the others were fined $5,000.
If you think that seems like a rather paltry sum for an NBA player, you'd be absolutely right.
Check out the bar tab from LeBron's trip to Encore in Las Vegas back in 2011.
The taxes alone came to $12,840.53 ... or more than 2.5 times as much as his fine for flopping.
Does anyone actually think that a $5,000 fine for LeBron James will even make him think twice about trying to flop again to draw a foul at a key point in a big game?
Of course not.
$5,000 is literally pocket change for LeBron. Getting a couple foul shots, possession, or even just saddling an opposing player with an extra foul is worth far more than $5,000 to him.
For additional perspective, here's a tweet from number cruncher Darren Rovell:
LeBron gets $5K flopping fine. Made $4,458 per in game MINUTE this season.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) May 30, 2013
So in about a minute and 10 seconds, LeBron's fine was already paid.
On The Dan Patrick Show today, they discussed the possibility of using a penalty system similar to the NHL, where a player would be taken off the floor for two minutes if they commit a flopping foul, resulting in a couple minutes of 4-on-5 play.
I don't think that would work, but the key is really the officiating.
Players flop because it works. When they flop, it often gives their team an advantage because the officials call a foul, sometimes when one didn't actually occur. And sometimes, when a player takes a hard foul and DOESN'T flop, the foul isn't called because referees pay more attention to the reaction than the foul itself.
How do we stop flopping? It's simple. Stop rewarding it.