David Stern has been cracking down on flopping all season, most recently doling out fines to LeBron James, David West (on the same play), and Lance Stephenson for their flops in Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. This got me thinking, who are the most prolific floppers in sports? Let’s take a look at the top 10:
10. Shane Battier, SF- Miami Heat
If taking charges was a stat, Shane Battier would probably have the record in both NCAA and NBA basketball. He’s constantly getting in the lane and taking a “hit” from a driving opposing player. He’s made flopping an artform, leading off our top 10 list.
9. Luis Suarez, Forward- Liverpool FC
While he’s the number 1 biter in sports (sorry, Mike Tyson, you’re second on that list), Luis Suarez is the 9th most prolific flopper. It takes next to no contact to send this guy flying. You’d swear his leg was broken every time he’s “tripped”, too.
8. Raja Bell, Guard- Utah Jazz
You know when a lumberjack cuts almost all the way through a tree, then just pushes it over effortlessly and it falls? Yea, that’s Raja Bell. If you bump in to Raja Bell with even the slightest contact, he may fall into the 2nd or 3rd row depending on how close to the sideline he is.
7. Chris Paul, PG- LA Clippers
OK, granted CP3 is a midget compared to most NBA stars, but the guy acts like he’s been shot with a Desert Eagle .50 cal every time he runs into a big on the court. The arms flailing, the grimace on the face, most likely a loud yell. He does it all.
6. Luis Scola, PF- Phoenix Suns
Luis Scola is one of the best actors in the NBA, if not all sports. He always has the “it wasn’t me!” gesture ready to go at a moments notice. Kevin Love got so sick of Luis Scola’s flopping that he stomped on his head. No acting necessary there.
5. Angel di Maria, Midfield- Real Madrid
Angel di Maria is not only one of the prolific floppers in sports, he is one of the most successful at drawing penalties by tricking referees into thinking his legs have been amputated by an opposing player inside the box. Seriously, if he doesn’t have a clear shot on goal you can pretty much guarantee he’s going down to the turf. Check out some of di Maria’s greatest dives in the 3+ minute “mixtape”:
4. LeBron James, SF- Miami Heat
LeBron James is 6’8 and approximately 275lbs of pure muscle. He’s basically a freight train. If the average person ran full-speed into LeBron, they’d crumple to the ground on impact and the King wouldn’t budge. But put a jersey on him and a basketball in his hand, and you’re likely to see the same acting CP3 is known for.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo, Forward- Real Madrid
There must be a sniper in the building whenever Real Madrid plays. Ronaldo is one of my favorite players of all time, but the theatrics are comical. There are so many YouTube videos of him diving, it’s impossible to choose 1 to post here.
2. James Harden, SF- Houston Rockets
James Harden became one of the NBA’s top players once he left the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Houston Rockets, but he’ll always be known for his flopping prowess while he played for OKC. Harden’s post-flop acting is second to none, as his theatrics usually garner attention from the training staff. Watch Tyson Chandler nearly decapitate Harden:
Did I say decapitate? I meant not even touch him.
And the most prolific flopper in all of sports is…
1. Manu Ginobili, SF- San Antonio Spurs
If David Stern went through the NBA game tape and assessed fines for every single flop in Manu Ginobili’s career, the San Antonio SF might be bankrupt. He is the undisputed king of flop. No athlete in the world flops with such frequency and theatrics as the most prolific flopper in the world, Manu Ginobili.
Honorable Mention: Anderson Varejao, PF- Cleveland Cavaliers, Pau Gasol, C- LA Lakers, Kevin Martin, SF- OKC Thunder, Dwyane Wade, SG- Miami Heat, Paul Pierce, SF- Boston Celtics, Kobe Bryant, SG- LA Lakers, Sidney Crosby, Centre- Pittsburgh Penguins.
Did I leave someone out who should be in the Top 10? Discuss in the comment section.