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Dahntay Jones again says he feels bad, didn’t try to intentionally hurt Kobe

Mar 14, 2013, 3:32 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

Dahntay Jones has been hearing it from everyone today — Kobe Bryant has vociferous defenders online and in the media, and when he sprained his ankle then said and tweeted he felt it was intentional, the attack dogs came out.

And a lot of people such as TrueHoop’s Henry Abbot (certainly not always a Kobe backer) raised legitimate questions about what Jones did — he tightly contested and Kobe’s potentially game-tying shot, but he didn’t leave Kobe room to land. (By the way, did anyone else enjoy the irony of Bruce Bowen calling Jones out for this on ESPN?)

After the game Kobe referenced Jalen Rose, a player that admitted he slid under Kobe intentionally in the NBA finals and forced him to miss a game with a sprained ankle.

On SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio channel 86 Thursday, host Adam Schein (“Schein on Sports”) got Jones to talk about the play — and as he tweeted the night before Jones said this was not intentional.

“After the game I felt bad and heard the responses and things of that nature, that he sprained his ankle. After I turned around on the play I saw that he was hurt and I thought that I did hurt him. We went in the locker room and looked at it and when we looked at it from three different angles it looked as if he came down on the floor but my foot was behind where he came down on. And I didn’t feel him come down on my ankle so I never thought he came down on my foot. And usually when shooters come down on your foot they come down on the top of your foot and that’s how they roll [their] ankle. So I felt bad. That’s why I kept looking at the play to make sure I didn’t do anything wrong. And I wasn’t trying to walk up under him. I was trying to contest the jump shot and my job as a defender is to make people uncomfortable and to challenge shots. I had an iso with eight seconds. I was trying to get him to go where I wanted him to. He pulls up and does a fadeaway and his leg kick I ran into and it made him come down awkwardly. That’s how the play went. But I wasn’t trying to walk up under him. It’s very hard to time somebody’s foot, to walk under someone’s foot and do things of that nature when the game is on the line….

“I just wanted to do my job and just try to contest the shot. It was a fadeaway. When guys shoot fadeaways you’re not just supposed to let them go, you’re supposed to keep playing and try and get as close as possible to be able to challenge the shot. I didn’t want to give up on the play. I wanted to make sure I was there so he would at least see me and feel me. I didn’t have a chance to worry about his landing. I didn’t want to hurt him and get in the middle of his landing but I was just trying to contest the shot.”

This comes back to the basic argument — Jones contested and had to move in to do so because it was a fadeaway. He clearly didn’t give Kobe enough room to land, but Kobe was kicking out his right leg as well (it’s clear on the video).

I don’t think what Jones did was intentional. I think there is a valid case to be made that you should call every foul when a player doesn’t have room to land, but that is not how the league has called things pretty much ever. And you do need to be careful because if you start calling it the best offensive players will try to draw that foul, the same way they did with the rip move.

It’s a complex issue. Kobe will use it as fuel because Kobe uses everything as fuel. But I don’t see Jones as a villain.

  1. BigBeachBall - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    It was a fadeaway shot,dumbtah has no case. Scrub. On the side, everyone’s says the dirty players like artest don’t belong in the league… wrong…. this duhmtay dood is worse because he’s capable and willing to end somebody’s season.

    • 808raiderinparadise - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      So ….. why did Kobe fade and leg kick?

      If you have to fade away on dhantay jones to get a shot off thats embarassing, leg kicks are illegal too.

      Its a wash. part of the game.

      NFL QB’s get hit low, its hard to say if intentionall too, game moves fast, this was a potential game tying shot.

      You get in kobes face unless you want to be part of his all-time greatest buzzer beaters video when he retires.

    • hqdeezy - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      You sir are a clown. How is that a dirty play? Kobe kicks his leg and he’s not called dirty? You Lakers fans and your double standards are sickening. Kobe needs to man up and stop making excuses. Plenty of guys sprain, roll or twist their ankles when landing on another players foot, but you don’t hear them crying.

      • manchestermiracle - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:39 AM

        Kobe kicked his leg, obviously attempting to hurt Jones. Jones slid under a guy shooting a fade-away, but obviously didn’t mean anything by it. Got it. Leg kick: Dangerous play likely to cause injury. Slide into a shooter’s landing spot (a FADE-AWAY shooter): No reason to think the shooter might get hurt when he lands. Good thing you cleared that up, ’cause I sure was confused….

  2. aboogy123456 - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    I think it was a dangerous play and the refs should have called a foul and the lakers should have been given an opportunity to shoot free throws to tie the game.

    That being said, I feel bad for Dahntay, I’m sure it’s every player’s worst nightmare to be the guy who accidentally injures a superstar.

    • reesesteel23 - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      How in the HEYull do you call a foul on that play??

      • hollywood26 - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        Oh it was a foul according to the way we are taught to officiate. If you watch the video no foul is called becuase the official baseline didn’t do his job and follow the shooter through the conclusion of the shot. He instead turned to watch the play develop and as a result missed the call. A defender has the right to challenge the shot but he must give the defender space to return to the ground. If he doesn’t it’s a foul regardless. Kobe kicked his leg out but was fading backwards. If Kobe made contact with Jones HE should have been called for a foul but he didn’t. Instead Jones stepped inside Kobe’s legs and gave him no room.

        By the way, I don’t particularly like Kobe at all, but as a ref I just call them as I see them.

      • somekat - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:22 PM

        who do you mean by “we”? Certainly not anybody who has officiated a game at any level. You have to give the guy room to land on a jump shot, that’s it. Once you fade away, or move to the hoop, that is gone. You can’t claim space that isn’t yours. If that is a foul, guys could just jump into defenders and get calls constantly. You’d have games with 50+ free throws per side

        Besides, the NBA has it’s own rules, everyone knows this. That’s why 2 and a half steps is no longer a walk, palming violations are known as killer crossovers, and it’s somehow become acceptable to use your backside to knock a defender off his position 5-6 times to get closer to the rim to the point where being able to “back a guy down” is one of the most important skills for a big man

  3. limonadamas - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    I don’t think anyone can say for sure regarding “intent to injure” in the moment, but Dahntay certainly did not make a clean basketball play on that shot. Anyone who’s played knows that running up underneath a jump shooter is a really dangerous move. He can’t claim ignorance to this, so even though he may not have been “trying” to injure Kobe, he certainly wasn’t “not trying” to injure him either.

    I’m pretty sure all this talk after the fact is just damage control to keep $$$ in his pocket.

    • somekat - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:25 PM

      anyone who has played also knows that kicking a guy while taking a fadeaway is a dirty move. You can’t force a guy to go through your leg to get to the ball, then complain because he went through your leg

      • dal24la - Mar 15, 2013 at 1:36 AM

        BS, if Dahntay Jones really wanted to challenge the shot he would of jumped with Kobe. Instead he stays mostly ground bound, taking a quick hop so that he can be “sure I was there so he would at least see me and feel me”. IDK who DJ thinks Kobe is, but “feeling” him is NOT going to affect his jumpshot.
        If Kobe doesn’t kick his leg out, it doesn’t change the fact DJ hops under Kobe as he’s in the air.

        Go watch the replay. If Kobe doesn’t kick his leg out and DJ takes the same tactic of wanting Kobe to “feel” him, than Kobe’s other foot likely would have landed on DJ’s foot.

        NO way around this being DJ’s fault.

  4. asimonetti88 - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    I don’t think it was intentional, I just think it’s unfortunate because the Lakers really need a healthy Kobe down the stretch to have a chance at making the playoffs.

  5. glink123 - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Watch the replay again. Jones leaves both feet, and as he lands, his foot furthest away from Kobe comes straight down, but as his leg closest to Kobe begins to come down, his foot slides into and under Kobe, and it also accelerates the downward path faster than his other leg. I’m not a Laker fan, but Jones CLEARLY slides his foot under Kobe, well after Kobe released the ball. Dirty play, but a dirty player. But that’s what bottom-feeder players do in the league. Whatever it takes to make a name, good or bad.

  6. jeff6381 - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    If he wanted too he could have did that 3 quarters earlier so why would he wait till the last seconds of the game if he really wanted to hurt Kobe? Also him putting his foot under him after the shot was taken has nothing to do with the shot going in or not so I kinda believe him when he say it wasn’t intentional.

    • teambringitstrong - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      You’re an idiot or blind or just a Laker hater.

      • somekat - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        I’d have to agree with jeff, and say you are just an idiot, regardless of your fandom
        what’s the point of hurting kobe there? the game is over, he gets no gain from it, neither does his team. If anything, it’s the dumbest thing possible, because if he gets called for a foul, the lakers go to the line to tie the game, and he didn’t know if it was going in at that point, so it could of been for the win

        The lakers next few opponents will though, if anything that hurts his team. If he was going to hurt him intentionally, he would of done it in the 1st or 2nd qtr, when it would of helped his team

  7. glink123 - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    you kinda missed the point. putting his foot under Kobe, after the release, is WHY the play was so blatantly dirty. it had no physical effect on the shooter’s physical release of the ball, but it absolutely had a mental effect of him knowing he would need to take his eyes off the rim to see where he was coming down. dude, do you even know the NBA rulebook? there’s a specific rule for this exact scenario, to protect the shooter. the defender MUST allow space for the shooter to come down. so explain how, on a fall-away jumper, with the shooter jumping AWAY from the defender, he still comes down on top of the defender’s foot? only one answer: the defender stepped into, and under, the shooter. easy call. two shots.

    • somekat - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:31 PM

      because kobe kicked his leg out. Again, you can’t force a guy to go through your leg, then get mad because he went through your leg

      That would be like a guy going up for a dunk, and using the off hand as a shield and expecting a foul if someone hit that arm going for the ball

      • manchestermiracle - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:06 AM

        You mean the way Griffin uses his off arm to hammer the defender on dunks? That doesn’t get called either. Bryant kicking his leg out had nothing to do with Jones sliding into Bryant’s landing spot.

  8. cameltoehoe - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Thanks Dahntay Jones. Next time, go for the knees.

  9. jimmymarlinsfan - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    About as dirty as Mr. clean

  10. jkaflagg - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Amazing how many people simply ignore the Kobe leg kick, which he has used for years to try and draw contact and fouls….you can’t rip Jones and ignore that Kobe is bending the rules as well…..

    • manchestermiracle - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      Please tell us where Bryant has injured another player with a leg kick that just about every NBA player has tried at one time or another. Isn’t that move a Wade signature? No, not the Wade kick-to-the-balls play, the other one.

  11. losanginsight - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    It’s ok. KB24 will get the much needed rest for a deep playoff run. A healthier D12 will carry the team for a couple games. The refs in the NBA have an agenda and marching orders from stern on how to officiate Kobe and The Lakers this year. No blood No foul.

  12. bucrightoff - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    The Laker fan whambulance is hilarious. Kobe broke Mike Bibby’s nose and it wasn’t a foul. Settle down.

    • manchestermiracle - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      Right, ’cause Bibby is as important to his team and Bryant is to his. Not. And last time I looked you could play with a broken nose, but not with a bum ankle. Nice try.

      • bucrightoff - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:15 AM

        Last time I checked, one call (the whole game really) cost the Kings the NBA title, while this one might prevent the Lakers from a first round humiliation. One killed a teams chances at a ring, the other might be a mercy killing on the most disppointing season in NBA history.

  13. dko83 - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Yeah come on guys. I get how beloved Kobe is to you guys but just stop. Doesn’t seem intentional at all, sucks he got hurt, move on.
    Also jkaflagg has a great point. If we can cut down on flopping, we can cut down on leg kicks.

  14. cjpunk15 - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Yeah just when Jones didnt intentionally trip him (Kobe) while playing with the Nuggets… Jones knew exactly what he was doing. ‘Timing’ as Jones declares has nothing to do with standing under a shooter.. Shooting a FADEAWAY…

  15. pop562 - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Jones is the same player he was back in 2009 with the Nuggets in game 4 of the playoffs…when he maliciously trip Kobe and almost cost more injuries to Kobe. Jones is a dirty player.

  16. mrphootball - Mar 14, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    He is so full of crap? I believe about as much as I believe he doesn’t like money.

  17. rumar1989 - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    cameltoehoe, someone needs to come after your mouth punk, to shut it up.

  18. fanz928 - Mar 14, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    Pretty intentional to me you don’t get under someone when he up in the air
    That should be a fine

  19. dal24la - Mar 15, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    ” I think there is a valid case to be made that you should call every foul when a player doesn’t have room to land, but that is not how the league has called things pretty much ever. And you do need to be careful because if you start calling it the best offensive players will try to draw that foul, the same way they did with the rip move.”

    You really think offensive players will start intentionally risking their ankles/foot/any other injury by purposefully landing on a defenders foot just to draw a flagrant? Come on man.

    There’s no injury risk with the rip move so it’s not the same thing.

  20. jerrybussrightfulheir - Mar 15, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    If Bruce Bowen says its a foul you know its a foul. No one knows better.

  21. kavika6 - Mar 15, 2013 at 6:16 AM

    I was devastated when Tony Parker went down on a similar play but I don’t even remember whose foot he landed on. Same with Tim Duncan’s last injury. It’s basketball. Things happen. I’ve rolled my ankle several times playing b-ball and I never blamed anyone. Stop the ridiculous excuses Kobe.

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