(Reuters) - Miami’s LeBron James was among three players who were each fined $5,000 by the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Thursday for violating the league’s anti-flopping policy during the Eastern Conference finals.
James, the NBA’s reigning most valuable player, was fined along with David West and Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers for exaggerating contact during Tuesday’s Game Four of the best-of-seven series, which is tied at two games apiece.
With the intense series set to resume on Thursday in Miami, the league decided to crack down on the theatrics displayed in Game Four, where the players involved tried to trick referees into calling fouls off limited contact.
James and West were cited for flopping on the same play during Indiana’s 99-92 home victory.
West, guarded by James, was backing in toward the basket in anticipation of receiving a pass when the nine-time Miami All Star spun and sprawled onto the floor as West stumbled awkwardly toward the baseline after minimal contact.
Stephenson earned his fine for exaggerating contact after a slight elbow push from Ray Allen following an Indiana basket.
The NBA instituted an anti-flopping policy this season to cut down on the practice.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue