What does Flop mean in Basketball?

A fall that’s made to look bigger than it really is

In the world of basketball, the term ‘Flop’ refers to a player’s exaggerated reaction to a contact made by another player, often faking a fall. This is done in an attempt to get the referees to call a foul on the opposing player. However, many regard it as an act of cowardice.

‘Flop’ is frequently used by basketball commentators, fans, players, and referees alike. It can be used both as a noun and a verb. For instance, a sports enthusiast might complain, “Stephen Curry tends to flop a lot,” or a basketball critic might argue, “Flops are spoiling the essence of basketball.”

The act of flopping is sometimes referred to as ‘Lebroning’, a term that became popular in 2014 and led to a trend of humorous social media videos where people would surprise strangers by suddenly flopping down in front of them.

While the term ‘flop’ or ‘flopping’ is most commonly associated with basketball, it is not exclusive to this sport. You might also encounter it in other sports like soccer, where players sometimes pretend to be injured to secure a call from the referee.

Example for using ‘Flop’ in a conversation

Hey, did you see that basketball game last night?

Yeah, I watched it. Did you see that flop by Player A?

Oh, definitely! It was such a dramatic fall, like he got hit by a truck!

Haha, right? It was such an obvious flop, trying to get a foul call.