We have a new viral verb to add to the list of “Tebowing” and “planking.” Please welcome “LeBroning” to the stage. Inspired by Miami Heat star LeBron James, the word is defined as “the action of throwing yourself to the floor after a light brush by a player, person, or animal; followed by an angry facial expression claiming it is not in any way your fault that you are on the ground.”
Consider “LeBroning” the “King James” version of flopping. The NBA explains flopping as "any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player." The misleading act is now a punishable offense. First-time floppers receive a warning; second-timers a $5,000 fine. In the playoffs, players lose the benefit of the warning. James was one of three players last May hit with that bill in a game against the Indiana Pacers. LeBron’s base salary this season is just over $19 million.
"It is what it is," James responded to reporters when asked to comment on the punishment. A reporter then asked if he earned it, and the two-time NBA champion dismissed that question entirely.
But James hasn’t just been the accused; he has played the victim as well. Corey Brewer of the Minnesota Timberwolves received the $5,000 fine in December for embellishing contact against James and drawing a foul. Brewer had received a warning earlier in the season by the league.
The videos featured in compilations seem to come mostly from high school students walking down the hall or on a playing field. While the kids sure seem to get a kick out of it – the act of falling flat on your back, regardless of if it’s under your own power, looks downright painful.