LeBron James delivers the worst flop of the NBA season

Chris Cwik
·2 min read

Those acting lessons for "Space Jam: A New Legacy" are paying off for Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. During Friday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies, James delivered what might wind up the worst flop of the NBA season.

How bad was it? You can be the judge.

James wasn't even touched, but he went down like he took a hard elbow to the chest. Even the announcers couldn't believe it, uttering "are you serious" after watching a replay of the "foul."

James got the call, and hit both of his free throws. The Lakers went on to win the contest 115-105. With the win, the team is now 21-6 on the season.

NBA warns LeBron James over flop

In addition to the social media buzz over the flop, the NBA also took notice of the Lakers star's theatrics. The league announced Saturday that James had received a warning for violating the league's anti-flopping rule. 

Under the rule established in 2012, another violation for James would trigger a $5,000 fine, followed by fines of $10,000, $15,000 and $30,000 for each additional violation. A sixth violation or more could lead to a suspension. With an annual salary of $39 million and even more money coming in via endorsements, the fines would be pocket change for James if he keeps flopping.

LeBron James defended flopping in the past

James has a history of selling weak fouls. He pulled off a similar flop against the Grizzlies last March.

James also got a call against the Portland Trail Blazers in 2019. It didn't even look like James was touched on the play.

James is far from the only NBA superstar to engage in these tactics. On Tuesday, Jimmy Butler pulled off an even more dramatic acting job trying to sell a foul call. Butler didn't deny it after the game, crediting Mark Wahlberg for teaching Butler how to act.

In the past, James defended flopping. In 2013, James said "it's not even a bad thing" and cited flopping as a way to get an advantage. If his antics Friday were any indication, James is still fully on board with that line of thinking.

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