He’s not quite Robbie Savage when it comes to drawing fouls, but the San Antonio Express-News’ Johnny Ludden pays tribute to the Spurs’ Flopmeister, PG Manu Ginobli.
It started, not surprisingly, when Denver coach George Karl opened his mouth. Having watched Manu Ginobili ” legs splayed, arms contorted, neck snapped back, his long, dark locks whipping everywhere ” crash into the Nuggets one too many times, Karl encouraged his players to grow out their own tresses.
Not only does Ginobili flop, Karl said, his flowing hair is also a convenient prop to draw fouls.
Seattle’s Ray Allen chimed in next. If Ginobili was going to fall down anyway, Allen said, the Sonics’ big men might as well help him.
The Phoenix Suns, Shawn Marion joked, were so impressed by Ginobili’s alleged flopping during the Western Conference finals they planned to sign up for their own acting lessons.
Ginobili has more than enough evidence to refute charges he has gone from All-Star to All-Fake: the bruised left quadriceps he has been playing with for two weeks (either his second or third of the season ” the team has lost count); the groin strain he has carried with him since March; the bruised right quadriceps he suffered plowing into Houston’s Yao Ming; a sore back from his too-many-to-remember falls; hip pointers (left and right); and, not the least of which, the black-and-blue nickname Brent Barry hung on him, El Contusion.
“I’m 200 pounds and I’m slashing all the time, going against 300-pound guys,” Ginobili (above) said. “I’m telling you it’s not easy to go finish, get hit and land on your feet.”
Among the things Ginobili does, some of his opponents claim, is flop. Stoudemire was the latest to complain. After Ginobili wrapped him up late in Game 4 of the conference finals, Stoudemire shook loose, in the process flinging Ginobili to his back. Both players received a technical.
Stoudemire credited Ginobili with “a great acting job.” Before the playoffs began, Ginobili rarely, if ever, heard similar complaints.
“I don’t like people that cry a lot and complain and we had some in the first rounds,” Ginobili said. “But I’m not going to make that change my way of playing, the way I feel the game.
“I’m just going to keep doing what I do.”
What Ginobili admits to occasionally doing is exaggerating contact that has already been made. Flopping, he said, is different.
“Everybody tries to draw a call and make a ref see it,” Ginobili said. “I can’t even think of one person who doesn’t do that.”