Dahntay Jones says there's no bad blood between him and Kobe

By Royce Young | NBA writer

These two have history.(Getty Images)
Kobe Bryant and Dahntay Jones have quite a history. (Getty Images)

On Dahntay Jones' end, there's no bad blood between him and Kobe Bryant .

Which shouldn't be surprising, because he's not the player that was writhing in pain on the ground and forced to miss games because of an ankle injury.

Jones was on the Dan Patrick Show, via Sports Radio Interviews, to discuss the play with Kobe and stressed that it was all incidental.

“It's the same take as it was after the game," Jones said. "I just tried to make the best basketball play possible. At that point in time, my role was to try to get a stop for our team and I just tried to get close enough to contest the shot and try to make him see a body instead of having a wide open look at the basket.”

Anklegate isn't the first time Jones was involved in a dust-up with Bryant though. In the Western Conference finals when Jones was with the Nuggets, he appeared to intentionally trip Kobe while he went for a rebound. Though Jones says there's no history between the two.

“We really don't have a history," he said. "We had two incidents that happened in a playoff series but there have been many games in between there where nothing has happened, period. I have a lot of respect for him, his career and what he's done. I don't have any problems with him at all.”

The play in question brings the question to light: What's fair in contesting a shot? Kobe's allegations stem from Jones undercutting him as he tried to land. What's the etiquette?

“To not walk directly under and I think that's the reason why they took the leg kick rule out because now you don't have a gauge of what's under and what's not," Jones said. "That leg kick creates space that is a disadvantage for everybody.”

Of course the NBA sided with Bryant, saying the play should've at least been called a foul. Jones' perspective on that:

“That's their judgement. I have nothing to do with that. All I did was the best I could've at that time.

"Not at all," Jones said when asked if the league's decision changed his perspective. "If they would have called a foul during the game I'd have to have stuck with it. I wouldn't have gone out of control but I just did my best job at that point in time. The leg kick is what created all the contact in a situation like that.”

Jones took quite the beating on Twitter for the play and tried to offer his apologies. But asked if he's reached out to Kobe, Jones said he hasn't had the chance directly.

“I don't have his phone number or a way to get to him," he said, "but I did hit him on social media and let him know that I have the utmost respect for him and it wasn't on purpose.”

 
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