With all this in mind, here are a few candidates who may have a little flop sweat, so to speak, as they prepare to play under these new guidelines:
—Anderson Varejao, F/C, Cavaliers: The big Brazilian has long been one of the league’s most prolific floppers, letting loose with loud screams each time he’s hit and falls to the floor. “I’m not flopping anymore,” Varejao said with a smile on media day. “I used to flop a little bit.”
—Harden, G, Rockets: Whether he was snapping his head back while hitting a screen on defense or flying to the deck on a drive to the basket on offense, the savvy Harden has quickly gained a reputation for flopping. Now that he’ll be getting more minutes as a starter in Houston, will that equate to more flops? “It was bound to happen at some point,” he said. “Obviously, the league got fed up with it and they put it in. I’m happy they did.”
—Ginobili, G, Spurs: The Argentinian’s roots in that soccer-mad country can be seen in his approach on the court, where the lefty flops every chance he can get.
—JJ Barea, G, Timberwolves: The diminutive spark plug has had to use any means necessary to succeed against bigger competition, and he knows that “absolutely” people across the league consider him a flopper. “”I’m going to play the same way since I was a kid, so whatever happens, happens,” he said.
AP Sports Writers Tim Reynolds in Miami, Greg Beacham in Los Angeles, Antonio Gonzalez in Sacramento, Calif., Tom Withers in Cleveland and Jeff Latzke in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.