Jalen Rose, Bruce Bowen weigh in on Kobe Bryant-Dahntay Jones play

Kobe Bryant vowed revenge after insinuating Dahntay Jones intentionally positioned himself so he’d land on his foot in the final seconds of the Lakers’ 96-92 loss Wednesday to the Atlanta Hawks. Jones simply has insisted to look at the tape, arguing on Twitter that the “ankle was turned on the floor after the leg kick out that knocked him off balance.” And even former NBA players who know a thing or two about playing dirty reached different conclusions.

ESPN analyst Jalen Rose has recently conceded he intentionally hurt Bryant in the 2000 NBA Finals by planting his foot underneath where Bryant would land after shooting a jumper, an injury that sidelined him for most of Game 2 and all of Game 3. But Bryant’s clutch performances in Games 4 (28 points) and Game 6 (26 points) provided early evidence that Bryant could play effectively through most injuries en route to his first NBA championship.

“There’s an unwritten rule in basketball that when the shooter goes up, you must allow him to come down,” Rose said Thursday on ESPN. “I learned from playing some backyard ball, some street basketball, that one of the ways to get one of the star players out of the game is not to allow him to have a clean landing.”

Former San Antonio Spurs guard Bruce Bowen became one of Bryant’s arch nemesis because of such tactics. But he hardly puts much blame on Jones.

“I thought at first, [Jones] just contested the shot and Kobe came down on top of him. But then, of course, with the technology of TV that we have and the angles, you saw Kobe fade away and you saw Dahntay Jones kind of continue to move in his direction,” said Bowen, now an ESPN NBA analyst. “It should have been a foul call there. I’m not saying that’s dirty on Dahntay’s behalf. A dirty play is taking the guy out of the air where he really has no place to come down.”

Bryant sure thinks so. He sounded understandably upset for reasons beyond the severely sprained left ankle could keep him sidelined when the Lakers play Friday vs. Indiana. The Lakers have officially labeled Bryant’s absence as “indefinite.”

“Officials really need to protect shooters,” Bryant said after scoring 31 points albeit on 11 of 33 shooting. “Defensive players can contest shots. But you can’t walk underneath players.”

Bryant reiterated that stance moments later on Twitter.

Soon enough, Jones provided just as an aggressive Twitter campaign as he did on Bryant.

There’s some skepticism on Jones’ claims.

Bryant doesn’t buy argument that his kick-out routine contributed to his eventual fall.

Jones also drew a retroactive flagrant foul by tripping Bryant in Game 4 of the 2009 Western Conference Finals.

But Jones countered that happened under different circumstances.

Regardless of the NBA’s pending verdict, it’s clear that the tape hasn’t provided definitive conclusions.

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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  • BOB

    Kobe did’nt even need to fall away and he did ??? He Flat Out Missed an easy shot and many other Shots before that One!! He Missed the shot and Jones Did Not Intentionally try to hurt him It shows right on tape he turned his ankle on the Floor Kobe and His Drama again It was NOT INTENTIONAL for God Sake

  • snarf

    Dirty play…ray charles could see that…jalen rose knows all pros know about this type of dirty tactic…kobe landed on jonsez back of his foot because jones proceded to walk under kobe…its sad when tha lesser man resorts to such tactics…like a jester slaying a knight thru trickery!