Originally posted on Purple and Gold Blog  |  Last updated 3/14/13
The Lakers suffered just their 3rd loss since the All-Star break on Wednesday against the injury-riddled Atlanta Hawks, 92-96. But the entire Lakerdom is still seething about a dangerous play that occurred with 5 seconds left in the 4th quarter as Kobe Bryant, being defended by Dahntay Jones, drove to the right baseline and took a fadeaway shot to try to tie the game at 94. Bryant landed on the back of Jones' right heel and violently twisting his left ankle, as a result. The shot hit the front-end of the rim, and the Lakers failed to capture their 5th-straight win. That play was replayed and dissected by the media numerous times and became the hottest topic of the night via Twitter, where both Bryant and Jones even addressed what they believe is intentional or not. #dangerousplay that should have been called. Period. — Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) March 14, 2013 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 I have the utmost respect for @kobebryant I would never try to intentionally hurt him. Just wanted to contest the fadeaway #thatsall — Dahntay (@dahntay1) March 14, 2013 Jones, naturally, denied any mal intent on that play but admitted that tripping Bryant in Game 3 of the 2009 Western Conference Finals between the Lakers and the Nuggets was in purpose.   Now what happened in 09' I am not proud of but it was a heated playoff series with a championship on the line— Dahntay (@dahntay1) March 14, 2013 Here are the 2 plays: There are dirty plays and dirty players in every sport. What makes a dirty player a dirty player is consciously deciding to do something to gain an immediate advantage by any means necessary in more than 1 occasion. There are no multiple levels of being a dirty player. You're either are or you're not. In Jones' case, he is. Like many people, I watched that clip against the Hawks over and over again. If you pause the clip above at exactly 0:08 seconds (5.3 seconds on the game clock), you'll see how much Jones emphasized sticking his right leg underneath Bryant. *Note the arch in his back and his left foot pushing forward. Watch the clip on a different angle towards the end, and you'll get a better look. On this angle, keep your eye on how Jones went away from thinking of challenging the shot, or even putting a hand on Kobe's face, to making sure he gets a peripheral view of his right leg in conjuction to Kobe's landing trajectory. If you're going up for a block or even putting your hand on someone's face, you'll keep your eye on the target. Jones never did. But blame the Lakers for the loss. With only 17 games left in the regular season coming in to Atlanta, the 2nd of a back-to-back should no longer be a convenient excuse for them to come out flat in the opening period. Remember, the Hawks were also on their 2nd game of a 2nd night, and they came home after getting trounced by Miami on the road. They also happened to be without 3 of their starters and their backup center, yet fought hard and got the victory. Yes, the Hawks are the younger team...just like most teams in the NBA. Does that mean that the Lakers should only expect themselves beating the Mavericks (the oldest team in the league) on the 2nd night? That's non-sense. If the Lakers want to be "a huge problem" in the playoffs, as Kobe put it, they have to start erasing their shortcomings as a team now. They were facing an undermanned team and, at the very least, needed to further separate themselves from Utah — a team that holds the tie-breaker on them in case these 2 teams have the same record at the end of the regular season. If the Lakers continue to allow to let things they can control as a team bring them down, they don't stand a chance at coming out of the opening round. Let's not forget that every single team in the playoffs, including San Antonio, have younger legs than the purple and gold. That's an advantage for them that the Lakers can't control. The responsibility to identify what the team does and does not need heading into the post-season falls on Mike D'Antoni. He's got to develop easy options for the team to run in clutch situations that doesn't involve Kobe taking the shot. With Jodie Meeks, Steve Blake and Antawn Jamison, he's got enough shooters to take that responsibility. Not to mention that Steve Nash is a proven, reliable final shot maker, also. With Bryant suffering his worst ankle sprain in 13 years when Jalen Rose admittedly purposely hurting Kobe during the 2000 NBA Finals, the Lakers could be without their best offensive weapon and team leader for possibly until Sunday at home versus Sacramento. And even if Kobe does play against Indiana on Friday, he will be severely limited in both his lateral movement and on his elevation. In any case, the Lakers are forced to stop relying on Bryant and figure out a way to win games without him whether they're ready or not.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rick Pitino thinks Louisville should be fined $10 million for scandal

Browns LB Armonty Bryant indicted on felony drug charge

Report: Danny Ainge 'excited' at chance to add Al Horford

Pat Haden collapsed on USC campus

Colts on Andrew Luck contract: ‘It’s going to be a shocking number’

GW basketball coach kicked out of daughter’s HS game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

A-Rod is (inadvertently) hurting the Yankees

Report: CM Punk to have back surgery, UFC debut delayed

John Elway: 2015 Broncos could be best defense ever

Lakers and Cavs discussed Kobe-LeBron trade in 2007

Report: Hiring Scott Brooks could help Knicks land Durant

Report: Tyreke Evans to undergo surgery, miss rest of season

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

Terrell Owens says Cris Carter 'begged his way' into HOF

QUIZ: Name every WWE Heavyweight Champion

Three NHL players who can cement their legacies like Peyton Manning

Top 11 story lines for the 2016 NFL offseason

Vince Carter: I’ll know when, but I’m not ready to retire

Bill Polian: Peyton Manning could 'immediately' be successful GM

Villanova Wildcats: The quietest No. 1 team ever

Craig Sager: From the brink of death to the NBA All-Star Game

Michael Oher slid backwards during play in Super Bowl 50

Magic interested in Blake Griffin trade?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker