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October 30, 2012

Refs will be enforcing new no-flop rule as season begins tonight

NORMAN — It’s not just the flopping that the NBA is trying to squash.

It’s Reggie Evans looking like he was zapped by about 10,000 volts of electricity when Memphis guard Tony Allen’s arm hit him while Evans — yes, Evans — was setting a screen.

It’s Dwyane Wade trying to trick the referees by flinging his leg out on a jumpshot and falling to the ground when it makes contact with Celtics guard Mikael Pietrus.

It’s Danilo Gallinari “flailing” and holding his face in a soccer-style, “gross over-embellishment” — the league’s own words — after running into a screen by the Lakers’ Pau Gasol.

Those were some of the examples the NBA used in a video sent to players and teams describing what exactly will be subject to fines this season in the first year of a new program aimed at curbing the kind of deceptive, and sometimes downright laughable, acting jobs that made Ray Allen’s performance in “He Got Game” appear Oscar-worthy.

And the video didn’t even include the hilarious attempted double dupe from Oklahoma City’s James Harden and San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili on the same play in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals last season.

Floppers beware. The league is coming for you, and your money, this season.

The NBA season begins on Tuesday with three games — Washington at Cleveland, Boston at Miami and Dallas at the Los Angeles Lakers — and for the first time, the players will face the possibility of stiff punishment for trying to trick the referees into a foul that wasn’t warranted. Commissioner David Stern issued an edict that he hopes will make flopping go the way of the four-corner offense and the short shorts.

The tactic has been prevalent for years — Pacers sharpshooter Reggie Miller and Kings center Vlade Divac were among the more creative floppers of the previous generation — as players looked for any edge they could get to swing the outcome in their favor. At full speed and with bodies everywhere, determining which players were flopping and which were making good basketball plays in the blink of an eye proved to be incredibly difficult for referees.

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