A play-by-play of the first-ever NBA challenge, where each contestant is given one chance to flop. Props are encouraged.
NEW YORK – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver inaugurates the first-ever NBA Flop Challenge at this year’s NBA All-Star Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The event features six of the preeminent floppers from around the league. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh represent the Heat, while J. R. Smith, Reggie Evans, and Manu Ginobili represent the Knicks, Kings, and Spurs, respectively. The competition consists of a single round with each contestant given one chance to flop. Props are encouraged. The competition will be judged by an esteemed panel selected for their expertise in the art of flopping: Vlade Divac, Tonya Harding, and recording artist Drake. The winner will receive a $15,000 gift certificate to Guitar Palace, which they’ll donate to the charity of their choice.
Flop 1: CHRIS BOSH [assisted by the White Stripes and Chris Bosh’s children]
[Bosh comes to the floor in Miami Heat colored camo, complete with chin-strapped helmet, artillery belt, and gas mask. He taunts the crowd by standing and staring slack-jawed with the ball in the center of the court, where he will plan to launch the shot that initiates his flop.]
DRAKE: Damn, looks like my close friend CB4 is about to bust out a hellish three-ball, right? Chris has been absolutely killing the triple this year. Maniacal.
VLADE: I am liking to see him shoot three. He shoot very good and will win game for Miami, Florida, and his country frequent.
[From under the goal, Jack White emerges, carrying Bosh’s two young children, one in each arm. Each of the children is carrying a plastic AK-47, also painted Miami camo. Jack White looks wasted. He staggers toward Bosh.]
TONYA: Is that guy dead? He’s wearing more makeup than I am.
DRAKE: Absolutely hilarious, Tonya. My dude White Stripes Guy makes sick-ass beats, though. I’ll be pulling up on a freestyle with him real soon. Don’t sleep.
[Bosh sets up against Jack White’s body, pushing back to gather room to shoot. As he makes his moves, Jack White stands completely still, looking straight up into the ceiling rafters. He seems to be crying. It is unclear if Bosh whether aware of the direction of the basket amid his juking.]
DRAKE: Sick, dude! Sick!
[As Bosh wheels out to launch his shot, his children run toward him with their weapons, firing at their daddy and giggling. Bosh takes several imaginary gut shots and flails his arms, losing the ball and falling toward his children. Once he hits the ground, he writhes and holds his stomach. His children pile on top of him and begin tickling him, while Bosh tries not to smile. Fake blood packets spill out and cover them all in Miami Heat–colored blood. Meg White, dressed up as referee Joey Crawford, runs onto the court and raises Bosh’s arm out of the pile of limbs, like a wrestling referee, as the crowd cheers in ecstasy.]
DRAKE: Guys, that’s an and-one, without question! I told you from the start my guy goes hard.
VLADE: He will receive three shots for penalty times to help his team to victory of contest.
TONYA: [makes a barf noise]
Flop 2: DWYANE WADE [assisted by Chris Bosh]
[Wade brings out the still-bloodied Chris Bosh and positions him just under the free-throw line. Bosh slaps the floor twice, shouts, and gets into a defensive stance. Wade starts dribbling toward Bosh, tries to eurostep around him, but Bosh swipes at the ball, hitting Wade in the face.]
DRAKE:Oh, wow, he actually fouled him!
[Wade is sent sprawling toward the baseline. Just before he hits the ground, invisible wires under his jersey lift him above the court. He glides around the stadium, strips naked, and starts doing somersaults. Pat Riley opens fire on him with a T-shirt cannon. Before Riley can hit him, Wade is lifted into the rafters feetfirst and now apparently unconscious. Bosh runs around the court collecting the T-shirts.]
DRAKE: D. Wade told me to tell you guys Jesus Christ is our lord and savior.
VLADE: His face look like pregnant frog.
TONYA: Lutz, double lutz, toe loop, triple axel… Oksana… Oksana… [barf noise]
Flop 3: MANU GINOBILI [assisted by Gregg Popovich and Pitbull]
[Manu is pushed out onto the court in a wheelchair by his coach, Gregg Popovich, who is dressed in a Darth Vader costume. Manu’s arms and legs are all in casts, unsigned. Beneath the basket is Pitbull, wearing a Russell Westbrook jersey, standing with his arms down at his sides. Popovich rolls Manu up the court toward Pitbull, gathering enough speed that by the time he reaches the free throw line he lets go, and allows Manu to fly forward in his chair, straight into Pitbull, who is mic’d up into the PA system. Upon impact, he utters “Dah” so loud it shakes the room, shatters the backboard, slicing Manu’s skin into ribbons underneath it. Manu, in his chair and casts, manages to fall out face-first onto the court, hitting so hard at full dead weight he knocks himself out and can’t stand up. Danny Green comes on court and bricks two free throws in his stead.]
DRAKE: I really don’t like this one, man. Not really my thing, really. Pitbull is a sell-out. And who’s the bald guy?
VLADE: You are wearing the Spurs short pants. And I am enjoy Pitbull.
TONYA: [to Drake] You’re a pussy, dude.
Flop 4: J. R. SMITH
[The PA announcer calls Smith’s name, but he doesn’t appear on the court. A picture begins to circulate on Twitter of Smith’s body shirtless, facedown in a pool of blood. There is no caption. They show the picture on the jumbotron.]
TONYA: [whispering] Phenomenal…
DRAKE: Shout out J. R. Smith.
DRAKE: RiRi is a good girl, though.
Flop 5: REGGIE EVANS [assisted by the United States Military]
[Evans walks onto the court wearing a throwback Vlade Divac Kings jersey. The jumbotron shows Vlade at the judges’ table smiling and clapping. Evans walks to the free-throw line and puts his hands over his crotch as if he’s going to take a charge. On the opposite end of the court, a service door opens and a Hummer emerges. It’s driven by a veteran who’s acknowledged on the jumbotron. The crowd cheers. The Hummer idles the length of the court. Just before it hits Evans, he lays down and allows the car to roll over him. After the car passes, Evans is no longer on the floor. The car stops just short of the stanchion. Evans gets out of the driver’s seat wearing a leather Tweety Bird jacket and waves to the crowd. They cheer wildly. Vlade boos. The veteran is nowhere to be found.]
DRAKE: So freaking good. He should be on the Wizards, for real.
TONYA: Is that a joke?
Flop 6: LEBRON JAMES [assisted by Barack Obama]
[The lights in the arena go down low. Beer vendors wearing white frocks emerge along the aisles bearing candelabras. An announcement is made for the spectators to reach under their seats and find the Miami Heat–colored Bible that has been placed their for their participation. Barack Obama walks onto the court in a pink spotlight, wearing a priest’s garb. He motions for the house to quiet down.]
DRAKE: [whispering] This is intense.
TONYA: [makes a barf noise]
[Obama raises up his arms. From out of the darkness, a procession of seven referees emerges carrying a bone-white casket lined with gold. They carry the casket out into the paint and set it down before Obama, moving back to the baseline with their heads bowed and whistles in their mouths.]
OBAMA: It is a sad day for the NBA, my friends. Our mutual friend LeBron James has passed away in his sleep. He dreamed so hard of coming out to flop for you, but his human body could not contain his will.
[Drake is sobbing. Divac claps with both hands loud, then realizes he’s the only one and stops. Harding is text-messaging.]
[The casket is opened, revealing LeBron James’s body, draped in swaddling cloth like a mummy. His black headband has been replaced with a crown of thorns formed from hundreds of Nike swooshes. He is holding a basketball. A close-up of his face is on every jumbotron. The crowd is silent. Together, the referees all raise their arms. They blow their whistles in unison and slowly pantomime the charge-calling signal, aiming their hands in all directions, at the audience, the world.]
DRAKE: [still sobbing] I quit music, you guys. I’ll never rap again. Not ever ever.
VLADE: Who will taking his free shot if he is die?
[LeBron’s eyes open. He rises from the coffin and raises his arms, shining in great light. He moves to stand at the foul line. The crowd goes wild.]
DRAKE: [screaming] I love you, King James! I love your iPhone application! I dream about you when I rest!
VLADE: [doing a slow clap] I am very liking to see homie doing well again to breathe and smile inside his life. I will rewatch again tonight his moves on ESPN three hundred time.
TONYA: [makes the jack-off gesture, rolling her eyes]
VLADE: I am liking all of the competitors. They are all try hard to do their good job, and I am liking how they put their spirit into fighting to win for team. If I am force to make vote for winner, I will say I like every. I am learning from each man new element to incorporate into flop strategy I apply versus my many friends who come to compete for me in struggle at Serbian Recreation Center Male Basket League. I congratulations to you all.
TONYA: [mouth is full of cookies she has produced from out of her leotard]
DRAKE: Damn… this shit is too real… Makes my whole entire heart hurt… I’m tripping out to this…
[Drake covers his eyes and counts backward from 1,000. While counting down he raises his arms high in the air and pretends to free-style, as if before a crowd of thousands, quenching his thirst with swigs of Sprite between the silent verses of his sick new verse straight off the dome about loneliness. When he opens his eyes again the stadium is empty—Vlade and Tonya and all contestants have disappeared. The lights are low and several janitors are cleaning up the mess around Drake, paying him no attention. He gives a random janitor a hundy to turn the center spotlight back on and bring him out a live mic.]
DRAKE: [hands still raised, on the mic] Guys, this has been real as hell. I never saw a game get changed like this before tonight. I feel like the king of virgin pussy to find myself the last man standing in this competition of my peers. Or not my peers, but dudes I’m all about and head over heels in love with. I’m high as fuck and so in love, and truly so, so honored to accept this award on behalf of all the hardest flop boys out there. This one’s for y’all. And hey, never forget my realest message: Always drink Sprite, guys.
[Drake pumps his fists and blows kisses to the absent audience. He mimes being dressed with leis and sashes of awards. He holds an imaginary trophy above his head and shrieks in joy as the janitors continue their silent work around him.]
Your 2015 NBA All-Star Flop Challenge Champion: Drake