Sam takes a look at one of the biggest losses the Lakers have suffered all season, the Kobe Bryant ankle debacle, was it cheap? was it just apart of the game? Sam wades through the inevitable controversy surrounding that night after Kobe said he was going to get revenge.
What’s the one answer most Lakers fans give to what Kobe said about having to wait a year to get “revenge”?
That’s just Kobe being Kobe.
Guest hosts Seth Greenberg and Linda Cohn on Colin Cowherd’s The Herd not only said that Dahntay Jones was just playing good defense, they asked what else are you supposed to do? Well, I don’t know. I’m not a head coach in the NBA. I’m not a player tasked with defending Kobe in the NBA. But you never step under a person when he’s in the air, which is exactly what Jones did. But then Linda Cohn started really going after Kobe for saying he’s getting “revenge”. She said the NBA should have reprimanded him for saying that and it’s completely uncalled for. I completely disagree with that.
First of all, Kobe didn’t say he was out for blood, and he didn’t call the fans to arms about how the NBA should have made a retroactive foul on it (the NBA did come out and say that it was a foul by the way). All he said is he hates having to wait to get revenge. And if a sports analyst thinks that’s something that shouldn’t be said in the NBA after a controversial play on one of the greatest players in the history of the game, they better not jump on Call of Duty 3: Modern Retro Future Warfare and play on Xbox Live.
What does the NBA love advertising? BIG. Every ad by the NBA is how the sport is huge and it comes down to the last moment and that it’s unforgettable. I’m not knocking; the NBA Finals are one of my favorite times of the year even if the Lakers aren’t playing. The Finals are most definitely BIG. Players get emotional in big games, and so do the fans. It’s impossible not to when the whole nation is watching and waiting to see if their favorite player knocks down the buzzer beater. So when a player like Kobe Bryant, one of the most (if not the most) competitive players in the NBA gets a little emotional and just says what’s on his mind after he rolled his ankle in a tough loss that he nearly staved off by exploding in the 3rd quarter, then no one should care. No one cared when Kobe said “It’s my responsibility to cook ‘em”. At the end of the day, it was a little trash talk said by a player who knew it would get out to the media in a big bad way. Don’t like it? Don’t analyze a nationally televised sport where as long as the fans are watching, a few choice words here or there won’t make the Association freak out. It was trash talk. Get over it. He didn’t even win for Christ’s sake!
When I listen to the radio I get a gift from fate with a timely interview every now and again. Today’s gift was hearing Dahntay Jones call into the Dan Patrick Show and talk about what happened. It was a pretty good interview and Jones came off pretty good as well, except for one thing. He said he didn’t think it was a foul. I’m sorry, but when the NBA comes out and says it’s a foul, you’ve gotten your ruling. His defense did not contest the shot as Kobe had clearly beaten him off the dribble. On top of that, after he had been beaten he clearly put a step forward under Kobe Bryant, and there is nothing you can do to change your trajectory. And in the second going from the apex of his height to the floor, I highly doubt Kobe was focused on not tripping on the defender’s foot. So I wasn’t happy to hear Jones consider it not a foul, but hey, everyone has an opinion and he was just trying to do the best he could to defend Kobe… or something.
But something that I thought was interesting is that Dan Patrick asked him if he thought that if this had happened to Jones, would it have made the media notice as much? He answered no. And I actually do agree with that, but does that mean that Kobe should be faulted for it. Some analysts think that he should. But like I said, the NBA is all about being BIG. And Kobe Bryant, being pretty much the only person (until Lebron James won his ring last year) knocking on the door of the greatest player in the history of the NBA, he’s BIG alright. So, yeah, the media is going to focus on Kobe Bryant more than almost any other star in the league right now. But he earned it, and sometimes that can be a double-edged sword.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Dahntay Jones is a bad person. But he committed a bad foul which hurt Kobe Bryant and the Lakers’ chances of winning a championship. I know it happens in the NBA on a regular basis. But it can happen because of wear and tear. It can happen because of age. It can happen because a player overestimated the limits of his body and paid the price. But it shouldn’t happen because a player stepped into Kobe’s space after he made a fadeway jumper, which by the way, went away from Jones’ position on the floor.
Sam Accardo is a writer for Hefferbrew. He doesn’t think the foul was despicable or Jones wanted to hurt Kobe, but it was clearly intentional. Openly disagree with me on twitter @samcar455 and follow the @hefferbrew on twitter and facebook.