LeBron James denies flopper allegations from Tom Thibodeau
LeBron James says he isn't a flopper, brushes off criticism from Bulls coach tom Thibodeau.
One would think that if the best basketball player in the world were accused of being a flopper, he would simply readily admit to it. Wait, what's that? That's not at all what he would do? He would absoluely, no matter how much of a flopper he was, deny that adamantly? Oh, that's right. My mistake.
Tom Thibodeau accused LeBron James of flopping on the play where Nazr Mohammed two-handed shoved him in the chest in Game 3, a play we broke down in intricate detail over the weekend. On Sunday, James responded to the allegation from Thibodeau. The gist of it? "Cool story, bro." From the AP:
"It's kind of the same [as when] I heard people say I was overrated," he said Sunday. "It's kind of like the same response."
"I don't need to flop," James said. "I play an aggressive game. I don't flop. I've never been one of those guys."
"What I said is what I said, but I don't want to get involved too much with what everybody else says about us, about me," he said. "It's nothing I haven't heard before in my career. It's nothing. ... I'm here to play basketball and do whatever it takes for our team to win. So what a coach and players say to me and about me, I don't really care."
It kind of would have been great if LeBron had faked tearing up, paused, and then yelled "Yes, I flopped and I hope they get fined to hell!" a la A Time to Kill. Or maybe, "You want me on that flop, you need me on that flop!" Or to use something more modern, he could borrow a line from Breaking Bad and say "I am the one who flops."
By the way, a YouTube search for "LeBron James flops" returns 33,600 results, including these old-time hits!
The shame is not that James flops. The shame is that we seem to think this is a bad thing. It's the league's responsibility to curtail the efforts. And it's not a good look. But if you're willing to do anything to win, you have to include exaggerating contact to elicit a foul call.
People say Jordan would never flop, but that's likely only because it never occurred to him. Flopping didn't operate the same way in the '90s. You can bet if Jordan was around these days, he'd be just as into it.
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