After a 20-point third quarter rally, Kobe Bryant sprained his ankle badly during the Lakers vs Hawks game (March 13, 2013). Kobe didn’t only miss what could be 4th quarter tie-breaking shot (ATL 94 LAL 92) but probably a chance for his 2nd regular season MVP trophy. When the Black Mamba was still motionless on the floor clutching his left ankle after the play, the Laker fans realised that they lost more than a game.
So did Dahntay Jones intentionally tripped Kobe?
Bryant with 15-seconds remaining, dribbled to the baseline and pulled up for a fadeaway jumper while being guarded by Atlanta’s Dahntay Jones. As far as the replay reels show, Dahntay Jones slid underneath Kobe after the shot which made it literally impossible for Kobe to land safely.
Sliding underneath an oponent whether he was in the act of shooting or just grabbing a rebound is absolutely dangerous. Assessing NBA rules under “Unnecessary and Excessive contact” Dahntay Jones should have been called for a “flagrant foul 2′”. If this was the case, Lakers could’ve grabbed their 5th straight win that night with 2 free throws plus ball possesion at 2.6 seconds remaining on the game clock and Dahntay Jones valid for immediate ejection. Refs missed the call.
Dahntay could be playing hard-D but not playing dirty as it seemed.
While giving Jones a benefit of a doubt, another Laker fan pointed me on a 2009 video of then-Nugget Jones tripping Kobe Bryant to prevent him from receiving a cut pass in the middle.
Dahntay Jones says he was not proud of it, but it was a heated playoffs game with the Western Conference Championship on the line.
Remember Game 2 of the 2000 NBA Finals?
This has happened to Bryant before. Indiana Pacers Jalen Rose undercuts Kobe after a jumper.
Bryant missed the rest of the game with a total of 2 points and didn’t play in Game 3. Rose admitted that he intentionally undercut Kobe, and considers undercutting a “No.1 unwritten rule” in basketball. ESPN stated that Kobe Bryant referenced Jones’ play, “He Jalen Rose’d me.”
Skip to 1:27 (Jalen Rose on Kobe)
With 16 games remaining and 0.5 games ahead of the Utah Jazz, is it the best time for Laker fans to push the Panic button?
Lakers will have to push harder for a playoffs berth as Kobe was listed out “indefinitely”.
A severe ankle sprain requires a couple of weeks or more to heal. If the Lakers lose three games in a row without him, LAL will lose a very important playoffs spot.
Kobe Bryant tweeted this photo during his treatment:
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) March 14, 2013