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LeBron James says Lakers 'don't work on flopping,' but one Warriors player disagrees

With the Los Angeles Lakers on the brink of eliminating the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals, flopping has increasingly become a topic of discussion.

The fun began after Game 4, when Warriors head coach Steve Kerr described the Lakers as "a team that plays with a lot of gamesmanship" and said they "understand how to generate some calls." He doubled down Wednesday ahead of Game 5, acknowledging the Lakers "doing what it takes to win" and calling one play a "blatant flop."

As you might expect, the Lakers heard that talk. Head coach Darvin Ham responded during Game 5, a 121-106 Warriors win and refuted the notion his team practices flopping:

"We don't teach flopping. We teach our players to play downhill and attack the paint and be forceful," Ham said.

LeBron James — a player who, shall we say, has a reputation for this kind of stuff — echoed Ham's sentiment after the game, saying that the Lakers don't seek chances to flop. He took things further by claiming that he has never been on a team that flops.

James' full quote:

"I just know that we, our coaching staff and us players, we don't work on flopping. That's not even part of our game. Our game is to attack, attack the paint. We don't mind physical contact, we actually like the contact, we don't shy away from it. We're just not a team that goes out there looking for flopping opportunities. That's just not us. It's actually never been any team that I've played on in 20 years where we've been a flopping team.

"It is what it is. They have the right to say what they want to say, but the game is always won between the four lines, and we've got to be better on Friday, for sure."

At this point, we should probably note that James himself talked about the value of flopping while he was with the Miami Heat in 2013. So you might say he has flip-flopped on flopping during this flap.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 10: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after scoring during the second quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game five of the Western Conference Semifinal Playoffs at Chase Center on May 10, 2023 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
LeBron James says the Lakers don't flop. Many people disagree. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) (Thearon W. Henderson via Getty Images)

It appears that at least one member of the Warriors disagrees with James' assessment of the situation. Golden State big man JaMychal Green called cap on James' quote the next day on his Instagram story.

The foul discrepancy has been a recurring story this series, with many Warriors fans noting that their team has been called for 109 fouls against the Lakers' 80 so far, with the Lakers taking 118 free throws to the Warriors' 66. You could call that a product of flopping, uneven refereeing or the fact that the Lakers attack the paint more.

Whatever the reason and whatever is being said, the Lakers will try to end the series in Game 6, which is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET Friday (ESPN). The Lakers' bigger concern right now is the health of Anthony Davis, who left Game 5 due to a head injury but is reportedly on track to play in Game 6.