Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 11/18/14
When Dahntay Jones slid under Kobe Bryant, that brought the whole NBA fan base into the discussion and made it a hot topic for days. The discussion of "should a foul have been called?" and "was it a dirty play?" were the main themes in the debate and ESPN's First Take wasn't a stranger to it either. In fact, they asked one of the most popular San Antonio Spurs of all time to the table to voice his opinion on the play. Bruce Bowen will be regarded as one of the best defenders of his team (and probably all-time) among media and fans alike, but he also had his controversial past. While Skip Bayless and Stephen A.Smith believe Jones' foul was dirty in different ways, Bowen does have a point in the discussion. Before this comes off as homerism, you have to look at the situation Jones was in and the many different possibilities for his actions. As it was said, Dahntay Jones is only in there as a defender, just like Bowen was when he played. This already makes for an unpopular situation for the player because he's in there for one specific reason: to stop the other team's best player. In most cases, it's a very popular player who's getting the media spotlight like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant in this situation. All you really see is a guy playing hard defense and occasionally bumping a popular guy trying to score. The term "you hate him when he's playing against you and love him when he's on your team" fits perfect for any hard nosed defender like Jones. Bowen is also right that labeling Jones a dirty player may effect his career and image, something that Bowen had experience in throughout his career. Now I'm not saying Bowen didn't have his share of controversial moments. He does say he never purposely went under player's feet, but he did admit that situation occurred when he was boxing out (something that players are taught right when the ball is released). Bowen had an incident along the lines of the Jones-Kobe incident with former New York Knicks guard Steve Francis. As you can see, Bowen had a similar situation with the exception that he jumps to contest while Jones slides under Bryant. I don't think Bowen did it intentionally nor do I think he played defense with a mentality of constantly hurting people. If Bowen was a dirty player, he would've hurt more players throughout his career than he did. As Bruce pointed out in the First Take segment, Kobe initiated the contact and Jones was trying to protect his space and Bowen was in that situation too. Bowen has a case where he was looking to box out his guy and Francis may have changed his shot and motion as Bowen was larger and longer than him on the court. There could also be a case made for Jones' actions in that play. Once he went to the contest, he turned to look at the basket while still moving to Bryant. With Bryant kicking his leg out, he may have thought he could get an offensive foul called in his favor. He could have also expected Kobe to keep more hang time and land farther away on the fade away than he did. He may also have had the first instinct Bowen had in that he should box out his player, even if it was the last play of the game. Again, I'm not stating that the play wasn't a foul or making excuses for Jones' play but, like Bowen, we can't jump to conclusions in labeling Dahntay Jones a dirty player. There's been dirty plays this season that have been in plain sight and they weren't given as much attention like this one. Serge Ibaka's "how do you do?" punch to Blake Griffin's privates is one that's obvious and that didn't get as much as this one or as much criticism as Jones. There was also the famous Raja Bell clothesline on Kobe Bryant during the 2006 playoffs, another play that was an obvious dirty play. Ibaka does and Bell used to do multiple things on the court, while Jones is strictly a defender like Bowen. Like Bowen, this label may haunt him throughout his career when an accident occurs on the court. Was there a foul? The majority of everyone fan base will say yes. Is Dahntay Jones a dirty player? The question was best answered by Bowen. We don't know what Jones meant in that situation, but to label him a dirty player is doing him an injustice. We should let his career as a whole explain his play. Bowen had his controversies, but he is respected for his play as he should be. Even some of the players who hated playing against him ended up naming him one of the best teammates they ever had (i.e. Michael Finley). For now, we should all be able to agree on one thing and that's accidents happen and the NBA isn't immune to that.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Stephen Curry to be named NBA MVP

Milwaukee Brewers fire manager Ron Roenicke

Drafted player changes Twitter name to ‘Pick 245′

Chip Kelly: Tim Tebow is here to compete for a job

Report: Nigel Williams-Goss transferring to Gonzaga

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Philly store offering Eagles 'jersey insurance'

Chris Paul listed as questionable for Game 1 vs. Rockets

Mayweather beats Pacquiao by unanimous decision

Did Evan Mathis respond to Chip Kelly's slight with barb?

WATCH: American Pharoah wins Kentucky Derby

Report: Rams trade RB Zac Stacy to Jets

Here's why Mayweather-Pacquiao was business as usual

Floyd Mayweather Punch Out mock video game is great

WATCH: Tony Allen walks through children performing, gets booed

Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods have broken up

WATCH: Two games end with baserunners hit by batted balls

WATCH: Damian Lilliard delivers great graduation speech

Jets do not envision Bryce Petty starting in 2015

Clippers beat Spurs on Chris Paul shot in Game 7

Jimmy Kimmel's Manny Pacquiao T-shirt goes viral

Big fight packs airport, leaves no room for planes

Pete Carroll discusses Russell Wilson's contract status

Jim Harbaugh not happy Lou Holtz is out at ESPN

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

Drafted player changes Twitter name to ‘Pick 245′

Floyd Mayweather Punch Out mock video game is great

Report: Steph Curry to be NBA MVP

Kelly: Tebow here to compete for job

Tony Allen booed for being rude?

Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods break up

Pacquiao fought with injured shoulder?

Winners and losers from the NFL draft

Report: Zac Stacy traded to Jets

Hardy apologizes for joke about 9/11

Jerry Jones sends letter to Pacquiao

Mayweather bans Beadle, Nichols

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.