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The Loop

Best Flopper in a Supporting Role

Gary Trent Jr. took the flop to new artistic heights on Monday

January 26, 2021

Here in the States, we see prissy European soccer stars rolling around on the turf after a slight nudge like they were just hit with sniper fire and we sneer. They are not, men, we say. They could not have conquered the West or invented the pickup truck. This would never happen here, IN AMERICA. Except, of course, that it does, on a nightly basis in the great USA sport of basketball. Once a rugged game born out of an old peach basket in a forgotten Massachusetts milltown—once the home of bigs and brutes—basketball has become our very own “beautiful game,” a fact made inescapable by the histrionics of Portland Trailblazers guard Gary Trent Jr. on Monday. Ladies and gentleman, we give you theater [old-timey pompous voice].

Should we freeze frame that for dramatic effect? Absolutely we should.

This makes soccer look like the Lumberjack World Championships, the NBA like a telenovela, and Duke like, well, Duke. But still, you can’t fault the incredible commitment from Trent Jr., who put life and limb on the line in order to fake having life and limb put on the line. With the Academy Awards less than a month away, please allow us the indulgence of this analogy: Gary Trent Jr. is Daniel Day Lewis and this flop his ‘There Will Be Blood’—a masterpiece of the highest, most harrowing order. If such artistry doesn’t earn him a Best Actor nod in a month’s time, then perhaps there is truly something wrong with the Academy after all.