The Los Angeles Lakers bench celebrates after Metta World Peace hits a three-point… (Paul Buck / EPA )
SACRAMENTO — — Metta World Peace loved to hear that Reggie Evans was fined $5,000 for flopping.
"Yes!" he said when informed by a reporter.
He wasn't so happy to learn that Brooklyn forward Gerald Wallace wasn't fined by the NBA. Both players committed questionable flops when World Peace had the ball in the Lakers' 95-90 victory Tuesday over Brooklyn.
"Did you see those two flops from Gerald Wallace? C'mon now. That's ridiculous," World Peace said Wednesday. "In one possession, he flopped twice and just fell. It was crazy. It's like, 'Wow, what is that?' It's really funny, but it's like, really, I don't even know what to think anymore, to tell you the truth. It's ridiculous. Totally ridiculous."
Evans was the first player fined by the NBA for flopping after he embellished contact with World Peace near midcourt.
World Peace was called for a foul on the play, but the NBA reacted Wednesday after installing a punitive system this season to deter flopping.
Evans was warned without financial penalty for flopping in a game earlier this season, but his second offense carried a fine.
Subsequent flopping violations for Evans would carry fines of $10,000, $15,000, $30,000 and then a possible suspension if Evans violated the new rule a sixth time.
The reviews for the Lakers' offense are almost all favorable since Coach Mike D'Antoni's free-flowing scheme replaced the stagnant Princeton offense.
"I don't think they are thinking as much," TNT analyst Greg Anthony said. "As an athlete you want to play the game on instinct. Part of what they were doing is that no one really knew what they were doing. You can now see the energy and confidence with which they are playing."
TNT analyst Chris Webber said he noticed a change in the Lakers' demeanor.
"The best thing [D'Antoni] does for this team is give them a calming presence. He's making these guys comfortable, letting them know they can trust the process," Webber said, before alluding to the circus-like atmosphere surrounding the Lakers. "And when you are in L.A., you need someone to control that because, if not, your attention will be everywhere."
Anthony peered a little into the future.
"The guy who will determine the fate of the Los Angeles Lakers is Dwight Howard. He is the key to their team," he said. "He will determine if this team will win championships."
D'Antoni is slowly determining a pecking order among his coaching staff.
For the second consecutive game, D'Antoni sat next to assistant coaches Chuck Person, Steve Clifford and his brother, Dan D'Antoni. Right behind them were Eddie Jordan, Bernie Bickerstaff and Darvin Ham.
NBA teams use two rows of seats for their "bench."