From the Archives: Diners Fail to Aide League’s Most Flagrant Flopper During Life-threatening Choking Fit




MIAMI (Sportsman’s Daily Wire Service) After Monday’s shoot around prior to their game later that night against the Heat, the San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobli came perilously close to losing his life as a result of his reputation as the league’s most frequent — and arguably most accomplished — flopper.

Ginobli was lunching at a popular bistro in South Beach when a piece of his tuna melt lodged in his throat, causing a violent coughing fit.  According to eye witnesses, annoyed diners rolled their eyes even as Ginobli thrashed violently about and crashed into a neighboring table, dramatically collapsing  to the floor, wide-eyed and aghast, as though catching a phantom elbow to the back of the head.

“We’ve seen it too many times before, no one was buying,” said Mitchell Reiner, a model who was grabbing take-out between before resuming his fashion shoot. “Plus, you’ve got to understand, a flop here in Miami is a fashion show that tanks. An over-emoting basketball player known for reacting to a stiff breeze like he was shot from a cannon isn’t going to get anyone’s attention.”

Reiner was shocked to learn that Ginobli was actually choking and was moments away from certain death if it weren’t for NBA ref Joey Crawford, in town to work the game later that evening, who happened by to apply the Heimlich maneuver.

“I’ll admit, my first thought was, oh man, give it a rest Ginobli,” said Crawford. “The guy’s a real drama queen. Players on his own team give him the business, even Duncan, who likes to imitate Ginobli simulating a fake orgasm. It’s hilarious. He writhes on the floor and shouts ‘si, si, si…’…and one…then rolls over and snores.”

Crawford hopes that by saving Ginobli’s life, the Spurs will forgive his controversial non-call in the waning moments of the fifth game of the 2008 Western Conference Finals — which to this day remains a sore topic among the Spurs coaching staff. “What call?” Spurs coach Greg Popovich coyly responded. “If anything warrants a non-call it’s Crawford choking on a ham sandwich. The right thing to do is just let it play out.”

Director Quentin Tarantino, who was in town to scout locations (for his upcoming movie and a tryst with a model he’d met fifteen minutes earlier), witnessed the entire scene from a nearby table. “It all kind of happened in slo-mo, which is how I would have shot the scene. Other than being about nine inches too short, Andy Garcia would be perfect.”

Recently retired Rasheed Wallace, known when he played as a technical foul waiting to happen, is no fan of floppers. “It’s bull(bleep). The cat’s been flopping all over the place since he came into the league. But if there’s anything that gets me more pissed than flopping it’s them cats that make faces like you just cut the cheese.  The refs call it all the time…when anyone over the age of six knows that if you smelt it, you done dealt it.”


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