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Lebron James Flopper?



On Monday, the defending NBA champions, Cleveland Cavaliers, played the runner up Golden State Warriors for the second time this season. The Cavs were looking for their 5th straight win in a head to head match up against the Warriors, however, the Warriors (with all 4 1/2 of their All-stars) handily defeated the Cavilers in this match up. The controversial play of the game was a Flagrant foul by Draymond Green on Lebron. The question is, did Lebron Flop? We can answer this question using physics and momentum.

 As we know, when two objects collide, whether an elastic or inelastic collision, momentum is always conserved. Therefore, if we calculate the momentum of the players before and after the collision, we can decide if Lebron flopped  or if it was all from Draymond. According to an article from Wired.com author Rhett Allain calculates the momentum of the players. Based on the players listed masses and video analysis he found that this was the data:

"LeBron before the collision = +548 kg*m/s

LeBron after the collision = -264 kg*m/s

Draymond before the collision = -362 kg*m/s

Draymond after the collision = -290 kg*m/s" (Allain, Wired.com). 

Now if we use this data, the momentum before the collision was 186 kg*m/s in the positive direction, while after the total momentum of the system was 554 kg*m/s in the negative direction. Clearly this is not conservation of momentum so an external force was provided. This force was provided by Draymond legs pushing on the ground. So, yes, Lebron may have flung his arms, but Draymond certaintly did provided an extra force to push Lebron down.  


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I guess we can say that Lebron James wasn't a flopper through the use of physics!  Draymond Green had an force big enough to knock down Lebron James, so Green should have been given the foul.  

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Lebron has legs that are perfectly capable of pushing off the ground too...  I dont know if there is a law of physics saying only Draymond Green can add momentum to a system.  :sword:

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