Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 6/7/13
Does $100,000 cover the expense of analyzing hours upon hours of LeBron James footage? That is a fair question to ask now that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban awarded a grant in that amount to study “flopping” and the forces applied in such collisions, when NBA players exaggerate contact in an attempt to draw fouls. Radical Hoops Ltd., which Cuban owns, will fund the research by biomechanics experts at Southern Methodist University over the course of 18 months. The best part of the announcement might be SMU’s very academic-sounding description of flopping. “Flopping is a player’s deliberate act of falling, or recoiling unnecessarily from a nearby opponent, to deceive game officials,” reads an SMU blog post. “Athletes engage in dramatic flopping to create the illusion of illegal contact, hoping to bait officials into calling undeserved fouls on opponents.” The idea is presumably that understanding the mechanics will help lessen the practice of flopping. The grant comes at a perfect time for the SMU researchers. They can begin their study by watching the NBA Finals taking place now. James and Manu Ginobili alone should account for a treasure trove of information.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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