Kobe Bryant was, the NBA concurs, right when he said that Dahntay Jones should have been called for a foul on a play on which Bryant was injured Wednesday night.
Not that that is likely to speed up the RICE healing process on what Bryant says is the worst sprained ankle he’s had in his 17-year NBA career. Bryant tweeted his displeasure with the noncall in the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Atlanta Hawks, adding “#cleanupthegame.”
In a statement on NBA.com, the league said:
“With 4.9 seconds remaining in the Atlanta Hawks’ 96-92 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on March 13, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant attempted a jump shot over the Hawks’ Dahntay Jones. After review at the league office, video replay confirmed that referees missed a foul call on Jones as he challenged Bryant’s shot and did not give him the opportunity to land cleanly back on the floor. Bryant should have been granted two free throws.”
There’s no word on whether Bryant will play tonight against the Indiana Pacers as the Lakers, at 34-32, fight for the eighth Western Conference playoff spot. Bryant called Jones’s play “dirty” and “dangerous” and said he couldn’t believe he had to “wait a year to get revenge.” Jones defended the move.
“The play I don’t think was dirty because all I was trying to do was contest a jump shot,” Jones said on ESPN. “Yes, it was a fadeaway, but when you deal with shooters or high-profile scorers, you have to try to get as close to them as possible to contest jump shots. So, even though he faded away you still don’t give up on a play. You try to still contest it. That’s all I was trying to do. I wasn’t trying to do anything dirty. We played 48 minutes of basketball before that. There were not issues before that. And I wouldn’t take him out on the last play of the game.”
Bryant spent Thursday getting treatment “all day” and watching movies, he tweeted. By late afternoon, he was ready to move on from the play.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) March 14, 2013