If you need a refresher course, check this out.
With just seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Bryant went up for a jumper in the far corner with hopes of tying the game at 94 apiece. Unfortunately, he landed awkwardly on his left ankle, which is now being described as a “severe ankle sprain”, which will keep him out of action indefinitely.
It’s unfortunate what happened, but as always, many fans are quick to play the blame game on the individual who was defending the star player at the time.
In this case, that would be Dahntay Jones.
Here’s a look at some of the comments Bryant had to say immediately following the game.
“First and foremost, I think officials really need to protect shooters. You can contest shots, but you can’t walk underneath players, that’s dangerous for the shooter… He Jalen Rosed me.”
And: “You just can’t go underneath shooters man, that’s a dangerous play.”
And, when asked if the play was dirty or intentional: “I don’t ever want to put that on somebody. I really don’t. I just think players need to be made conscious of it, and I think officials need to protect shooters, period.”
And, “I can’t get my mind past the fact that I gotta wait a year to get revenge.” (AJC.com)
Whether he’s correct in thinking it or not, Kobe Bryant truly believes that Jones undercut him.
Well, in my humble opinion, there was nothing dirty with what Dahntay was doing.
Here’s a look at the play in question. You can be the judge.
At the angle Bryant was shooting, plus the fact that he was not only fading away, but flailing his legs forward at the defender, it’s no wonder he wound up turning his ankle.
You can even say Kobe was being more reckless than Jones. Dahntay was playing tight defense, but it wasn’t his fault that Bryant landed the way that he did.
Tape doesn’t lie. Ankle was turned on the floor after the leg kick out that knocked him off balance. I would never try to hurt the man
— Dahntay (@dahntay1) March 14, 2013
Bryant is upset, and rightfully so. This injury couldn’t have happened at a worse time. With the loss, the Lakers are now 34-32 on the season, with just a half game lead over the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. If he were to miss a significant amount of time, it could very well derail the Lakers playoff chances this season.
Last night should have been a gimme for Los Angeles. The Hawks were missing four key players in Josh Smith, Jeff Teague, Zaza Pachulia and Lou Williams. Bryant hit just 11 of his 33 shots from the field, and both Dwight Howard and Steve Nash were outscored by John Jenkins and Ivan Johnson (who?), who came off the bench for Atlanta.
It was clearly a rough day at the office for the Lakers.
You can’t replace a guy like Kobe Bryant, if that isn’t the most obvious statement of the year. 27.5 points per game just won’t come out of the blue, unless Howard pretends he’s playing the Orlando Magic every game from now until the end of April.
Just please, stop blaming Dahntay Jones for what happened.
Ease up. Yes, it sucks, but what will harassing him with evil tweets and messages accomplish? Do you want him to feel bad? I’m sure he already does, even though he knows he had little to do with Kobe’s injury.
Life goes on. Injuries happen all the time.
Bottom line: If Kobe Bryant had done something similar to Jones, none of you would care in the slightest.
Be honest with yourselves.