15-Year NBA Referee Explains Exactly What Counts As A ‘Flop’ On The Court

by 8 months ago
Pacers vs Cleveland Cavaliers

Getty Image / Gregory Shamus


With the 2018 NBA Playoffs in full effect, you cannot go on Twitter or flip on SportsCenter without seeing a slew of complaints about flops. One of the most egregious floppers in the NBA, LeBron James, got called out incredibly hard for a comically weak flop yesterday in Game 7 against the Indiana Pacers.

Zach Zarba has been a referee in the NBA for 15 years. He recently spoke with Business Insider Video to discuss what constitutes a flop on the court, and how to differentiate between a flop and an athlete who has been legitimately fouled and is selling it:

Here’s a short transcript of that video if you’d rather read than watch:

Zach Zarba: My name is Zach Zarba and I’m a 15-year NBA referee. Flopping was a major concern a few years in the past, a few years back and they actually invoked a flopping fine where they would fine players who they thought were incessantly flopping. The flop is, it’s part of the game. I think as a referee you never want to fall for a flop. The more you do this, we’re not perfect. The more games you have under your belt, inevitably the more mistakes you’ll make. I think people get confused sometimes with the selling of a call as opposed to flopping. Okay, the selling of a call is just showing what actually happened. And so if someone pushes off and the defender sells it by backing off, that’s a legal play and that’s not a flop. If someone pretends to get hit and fall down when there’s actually no contact, that would be a flop. (via)

There are approximately 40 tweets per minute with ‘flop’ in them right now on Twitter but here’s that incredibly egregious flop from LeBron yesterday that has everyone talking:

You have to love the double kick and the push off on his right leg so he can fall at a better angle. Really reeeaaaaaaaalllllllyyyyyyyyy selling it.


TAGSfloppingflopsLeBron JamesNBANBA playoffs

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