Former NBA player and Euro legend Vlade Divac admitted that he flopped during his time in the league but deflected the blame to rival big man Shaquille O’Neal in an interview in a basketball camp in Italy on Wednesday.
During his prime, the 7-foot-1 Serbian was a known wily, multi-faceted big man—he can score on post-ups and jumpers, he can rebound and he can dish out the assists. Plus, he is also known as one of the best in drawing fouls—via flopping.
However, the 46-year-old admitted that the league has done a good job in implementing new rules to try to discourage, if not stop, the flops.
“Whenever you overdo something, it’s time to stop it,” Divac said via Pro Basketball Talk. “So I think it’s a great decision by the NBA. But everyone is saying that’s my rule; that’s not my rule. That’s Shaq’s rule. No, I started it because of Shaq, because they didn’t want to call fouls. So that’s not my rule, that’s Shaq’s rule.”
"Flops have no place in our game -they either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call," vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson said in a statement when the flopping rules were announced in October of 2012..
Flopping could cost players a $5,000 fine on second violation up to a huge $30,000 on their fifth violation.
Good or bad acting, Divac delivered the goods during his 16-year-NBA career. H played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1989 to 1996 before transferring to the Charlotte Hornets in the celebrated draft day exchange involving Kobe Bryant. He was part of the popular high-scoring, high-octane Sacramento Kings from 1999 to 2004.
Fair strategy or not, Divac’s “flopping” was understandable in a way as Shaq is known as the most dominant physical specimen in the history of the NBA. For the Serbian, using his head over his body was the wise thing to do as he won some battles against Shaq by flopping.