After Kobe Bryant suffered a severely sprained left ankle upon landing on the foot of Atlanta’s Dontay Jones, Bryant likened the Duke product to Jalen Rose and spoke of wanting “revenge” in a year’s time. While Bryant’s fans are obviously upset with Jones, leave it to Bruce Bowen of all people to lend his voice to the debate. This is kind of like Bill Laimbeer telling DeMarcus Cousins to be careful with those elbows. From the LA Times’ Mike Bresnahan :
Longtime Lakers foil Bruce Bowen actually sided with Bryant to a degree, a somewhat surprising development from the former player who was similarly accused of sticking his feet under airborne players and was called “Edward Scissorhands” by former Lakers coach Phil Jackson for his rough hands-on play.
“[Jones] took away his space and in the game, you’re supposed to give the offensive player a place to land,” Bowen, the former San Antonio forward, told ESPN radio. “You saw Kobe fade away and you saw Dahntay Jones kind of continue to move in his direction. It should have been a foul call there.”
That was the only protection Bowen offered Bryant.
“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 as far as clotheslining and things like that,” Bowen said.
“Kobe has his own opinion. He’s trying to protect himself. He knows what he means to his team right now and they cannot afford not to have him at 100%. He’s going to go with, ‘This is a dangerous play, it’s my career that’s at stake.’ I don’t think his career was at stake. Kobe is going to sell it the best way he can.”