James Harden received the first $5,000 flopping fine of the 2013-2014 season after Blake Griffin’s aura knocked him to the floor in Sunday’s Rockets game. This was Harden’s second violation of the year, fewer than two weeks into the NBA season, the first coming against the Portland Trail Blazers. Interestingly enough, he did not take issue with the Portland call when there were no monetary ramifications, but even he knows that his tomfoolery is unsustainable with the scaling fees and looming suspensions.
James Harden told the Houston Chronicle that he intends to appeal the Portland call:
“The first one, I really did get hit in the face. I am trying to appeal that right now,” Harden said. “I really did get hit in the face – was just a late reaction. I don’t want to be known as a flopper or a guy who is looking to get calls. I am not that type of player and I never have been.”
Whoa there, James. A spade is a spade; let’s be honest. I’d like to believe that he plays honorably, but when you type “James H-“ into the youtube search bar and it automatically fills in “James Harden flop,” (yielding pages of results) it’s pretty damning evidence to the contrary. But let’s focus on this one flop in particular.
A textbook hand in the face from Wesley Matthews sent Harden to the floor holding his face and rolling in agony. The league leader at getting poked in the eye was rewarded with three free throws, as a technical was tacked on when Matthews argued the call. I don’t see this one being repealed. The familiar delayed head snap says it all.
If the call stands, Harden’s next flopping fee will rise to $10,000. That’s pocket change to an NBA superstar, but still not something one looks forward to. It’s the possible suspension after the sixth call that poses a problem. I think if they really want to make James Harden change his ways, he should have to shave his beard by the third flop.