What If Dahntay Jones Would Have Injured Lebron James Instead of Kobe?
Anyone who has ever played, coached or has been an serious fan of basketball knows nothing about that close out was natural.
You can watch one thousand fade aways from Kobe Bryant on youtube and not come across a close out more void of basic fundamental principles.
Before we get into the actual close out lets start with Jones's defensive argument that it should of been a offensive foul. For that shot to be a offensive foul the NBA will have to eradicate the fade away jump shot altogether.
To take a proper fade away it is natural for the dominant leg to swing as the shot goes up. It isn't maliceful, intentional, dirty its natural.
With that being said the close out on Bryant by Jones was anything but natural. First of all he didn't even attempt a play on the ball!
Who closes out without making a attempt to make a block?
Secondly, when a player knows that blocking a shot is futile they normally aim to impair the players vision by putting a hand in his face.
Dahntay Jones did neither.
He doesn't come close to effecting the shot because he wasn't closing out properly. Why wouldn't a solid defensive player not close out properly during the most crucial possession of a game?
Simple, it was not his intentions to block the shot or disrupt the shot it was Jones's sole intent was to injure Kobe Bryant.
As Kobe is releasing the shot you do not see the customary hand in the face you normally see on contested jumpshots. What you see is Dahntay Jones oddly walking underneath Kobe Bryant. So far underneath him that he is standing in between Kobe's legs as he comes down from the shot.
Jones says tape don't lie, it sure doesn't anyone who watches that replay and doesn't see a foul is either biased against Kobe ala Charles Barkley or has no clue on how dangerous undercutting a player truly is.
What is more appalling than that sort of foul being committed, is that it wasn't even called by a ref two feet away!
So I pose these questions?
Would the refs have blown the whistle had it been Lebron James?
Would the league have stepped in had Dahntay Jones deliberately stepped under the NBA's chosen one?
Those people who are so naive to say why would a person intentionally hurt another player must not have caught the sound bite when Jalen Rose openly admitted to intentionally injuring Kobe Bryant by doing exactly what Dahntay Jones did step by step.
It was a despicable play, a play that has no place in the game. A play that would turn the NBA upside down if it happened to Lebron James. A play that was ignored totally by the league because it happened to Kobe.