We have a new nominee for Least Surprising News of the Day.
LeBron James is the best basketball player on Earth, and in no way should it take away from appreciating his greatness as an athlete to state plainly that he is also an all-world flopper. James has averaged at least eight free throws per game in eight of his 10 seasons as a pro, partly because he is so aggressive in attacking the hoop and partly because he knows just how to embellish contact to get himself to the line.
The NBA has tried to crack down on such activity, to varying degrees of success. The league instituted fines for flopping, and many referees simply look the other way when the likes of Manu Ginobili and Blake Griffin topple to the court. Tony Allen was praised, then fined, for grabbing his head after falling to the ground on a key play in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. Replays showed his head never hit the ground, but his acting job turned a regular defensive foul into a flagrant one.
James has no problem with any of that illegal activity.
“Some guys have been doing it for years, just trying to get an advantage,” James said, according to ESPN.com. “Any way you can get an advantage over the opponent to help your team win, so be it.”
In another unsurprising detail, James’ opinion was supported by one of his least-steady (physically speaking) teammates — Dwyane Wade.
Gee, it sure is a crowded field in the Least Surprising News category.