By Ben Golliver
The NBA officially warned Nets guard C.J. Watson for violating its anti-flopping policy on Friday.
Watson’s flop occurred in the fourth quarter of a 91-83 win over the Timberwolves on Wednesday in Minnesota. With 9:05 remaining in the fourth quarter and Brooklyn leading 72-68, Watson over-exaggerated contact from Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea while playing on-ball defense on the perimeter. Barea used his right arm to clear Watson away from him as he set up to use a high screen and Watson flung himself backwards, falling to the floor. Barea was whistled for an offensive foul.
This type of flop was specifically called out in the NBA’s official video introducing its flopping policy. In the video, Clippers guard Chris Paul was called out for trying to sell a charge in a similar manner.
“As the highlighted defensive player, No. 3 in the red uniform, defends the driving offensive player, he feels slight contact and then launches himself back to the floor,” the video’s narrator explained. “This reaction by the defensive player is an over-embellishment of marginal contact and is intended to draw an unearned offensive foul on his opponent.”
Barea has been warned twice this season for flopping in this exact manner. He was fined $5,000 earlier this week for a similar flop.
In a televised postgame interview, Watson comically brought up Barea’s flopping history.
“He’s a flopping guy so I just tried to give him a dose of his own medicine,” Watson said. “It worked tonight, hopefully I don’t get fined though.”
Watson becomes the 13th player warned under the new system, joining: Spurs guard Tony Parker, Sixers guard Royal Ivey, Magic center Gustavo Ayon, Rockets center Omer Asik, Hawks center Zaza Pachulia, Clippers guard Chauncey Billups, Nets forward Gerald Wallace, Rockets forward Patrick Patterson, Nets forward Reggie Evans, Thunder guard Kevin Martin, Barea and Cavaliers guard Donald Sloan. Barea, Martin, Wallace and Evans have each been fined $5,000 as repeat violators.
Watson will now be subject to fines if they are deemed to have violated the policy again. The sliding fine scale looks like this.
Violation 2: $5,000 fine
Violation 3: $10,000 fine
Violation 4: $15,000 fine
Violation 5: $30,000 fine
For a sixth (or any subsequent) violation of the rule, the player will be subject to such discipline as the League determines is reasonable under the circumstances, including an increased fine and/or suspension.
Watson, 28, is averaging 6.2 points, 1.7 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per game for the Nets. He is signed to a veteran’s minimum contract.
Video via YouTube user NBIllets | Hat tips: The Basketball Jones and The Brooklyn Game