Like certain less-than-important political issues, "flopping" has been force-fed into the basketball fan's vocabulary, making it a hot-button topic that takes away from the more important topics of concern in basketball.
There are places where some political issues are more of a priority, and there are places where flopping is more of an issue, i.e. South Beach, anywhere Derek Fisher or Manu Ginobli play, or College Basketball. Specifically the ACC. Specifically North Carolina. Specifically the part between Rt. 70 and Rt. 85.
Sorry, sometimes I get off-topic.
Let's get this straight - I HATE flopping. I hate anything that takes away from the legitimacy of the most athletic sport in the world, and places a game that is revolved around being a versatile mix of speed, hops, technique, co-ordination and intelligence in the hands of a winded 60's something year-old man who may have gotten to the spot a half second late, or does not understand the laws of physics.
Flop-fest at the Rim!
Usually within the problem, you find the root of the issue. The problem with basketball is not flopping, it's the referees that call them.
I have refereed before, and it's one of the toughest things I have ever done. When you have a bunch of parents living vicariously through their child who can hardly read, you tend to have a whole mish-mosh of misunderstandings. Anyone who has ever had a "misunderstanding" knows that everybody ever is right, and you are wrong 100% of the time.
The problem with offensive fouls is that legit charges only come around once in a blue moon, and basketball culture has become so obsessed with the notion of flopping, that they spot that elusive UFO more so than actually exists.
It takes a tremendous amount of speed and force to knock down a 6'8", 260 lb. man, so why would a referee believe that a slight bit of contact could get that done? The same way a 14 or 15 year old kid could believe they are in love. They want it to.
By penalizing players for flopping, you again entrust too much faith in some form of a judge or jury to make the call. When you fine players for doing their job, they struggle to play at the same level for the fear of losing money (see: Harrison, James). When you find a racist juror in a potential pool of a hate crime trial, what do you do? You dismiss the juror.
Instead of fining the players, fine and dismiss referees who fall for laughable "pull out the chair" acts. Because, let's face it, their job is to make the correct call. If they can't, they're not suited.
Obviously, I know that there is a logical fallacy in the fact that I want to fine referees without any regard to their performance suffering like that in which I mentioned with the players. The difference is that it is not the players' jobs to police the games, whereas it is the referees' only job.
I legitimately believe that the offensive foul is one of the most exciting plays in basketball. It takes points off of the board like a blocked shot, and has the ability to change the momentum of the game like a deep three.
By disciplining referees for calling flops, the calls will decline, and easy buckets will ensue from defenders providing a swinging-gate for ball-handlers to reach the rim. As calls decline, and scoring increases, players will play legitimate defense to defend this (over time). As the flops phase out, referees will regain confidence in being able to call the offensive foul again, when players are set, and take enough of a blow to knock them over.
Of course, being set will always be an issue, and calls will continue to be missed based on that and "was he outside the circle?" There is something said for placing more doubt in a referee's judgment call when, in fact, officials should have to make as few judgment calls as humanly possible.
Sometimes, like with many issues, you have to take a step back before you can take a step forward.
When you have an issue you want to eradicate, you have to kill the head (or of course, aim for the outside ACL). The fact of the matter is, flops do not exist if referees don't call them.