With three seconds left and his team down by two points, Kobe Bryant drove toward the baseline and pulled up for that fadeaway, contested jumper that he has made so famous. Hawks guard Dahntay Jones had the unenviable task of defending him and crowded Bryant's shot, giving him as little room to breathe as possible.
Bryant went up but had little room to come down. He landed awkwardly on his right ankle and fell to the floor immediately with what the Lakers called a "severely sprained ankle." He is out indefinitely now.
I think officials really need to protect shooters,” Bryant told reporters following the game. “You can contest shots, but you can’t walk underneath players, that’s dangerous for the shooter. “…I’m always conscious of it. When I go to contest shots I’m always very conscious about making sure I don’t walk underneath them. It’s just a very, very dangerous play. Especially if I’m fading away, there’s no rhyme or reason why I should come down anywhere near somebody’s foot.
Jones defended himself after the game, saying the play was not dirty because he was simply reacting to a skilled isolation player. There was no way for him to know what Bryant would do. Further, Bruce Bowen, known throughout his career for some dirty tricks, wondered why Jones continued to walk toward Bryant after contesting the shot. He feels Bryant has a point.
Was it a dirty play? Who knows what really was going on with Jones.
But it raises a fun thought: Who are the dirtiest players in the NBA? What qualifies as a dirty play?
There are several plays one might consider dirty. There are the moving screens that don't get called and the physical play coming from hardened veterans. There are the floppers who flail at the slightest touch. There are the guys who gesticulate their bodies while shooting to draw contact.
These are all varying degress of dirty. They get under opponents' skin and give their team every little advantage they can get. Is being dirty a bad thing? Review the dirtiest players in the NBA and judge for yourself:
Get out of my ear! -- The Talkers
Kevin Garnett, Celtics: No player defines dirty in a more visible and emotional way than Kevin Garnett. His unending intensity is the kind of thing that teammates love to have on their team, but opponents hate to go up against. He gets under opponents' skin with his constant trash-talking and yelling.
More than that, though, he takes every inch he can, sometimes literally. Garnett is well known for throwing an elbow to someone coming around a screen or moving ever so slightly to set a pick before getting set. It gives the ballhandler a huge advantage.
Garnett's biggest impact though comes in the way he trash-talks his opponents. He does not even have to be playing and he can still get under your skin!
Metta World Peace, Lakers: World Peace has lost a little bit of the mobility that at one time made him the best defensive player in the league. One thing he has not lost is his ability to talk his way under your skin and get you to react. Metta World Peace probably gets in more shoving matches than anyone, and it feels like it is sometimes by design.
It helps that he is a pretty good defender, but, as his skills have diminished, the need to find that advantage has increased. He may not have as many dirty tricks as a Bruce Bowen, but his mouth is always going and as an offensive player, you have to really focus on the physical task of beating World Peace rather than the psychological warfare going on.
Cheap Shots -- this category needs no explanation
Serge Ibaka, Thunder:
Nicolas Batum, Trail Blazers:
You just do not hit a man there, guys.
Quit your whining -- The Complainers
James will work the referees for every single angle he can, and if there is a call that he does not believe was correct, he will let you know about it. His eyes will get wide, his face will brighten up some and he will huff and puff a little bit in reaction. Getting a technical foul, though? Nope, not a chance.
You would think LeBron James has little reason to complain about officiating at any point. After all, he once had a streak of six straight games this season without being called for a foul. Just think how many minutes he plays and how many opportunities for fouls that is.
Dwight Howard, Lakers: Maybe, Howard has a point, but he complains to officials a lot. Howard gets hit hard in the post almost every time he goes out there. And no one ever gets called for a flagrant foul against him. Howard has always vented his frustration to officials and routinely gets penalized for it.
Along with his moving screens, officiating Howard is very very difficult ... and annoying.
Every dirty trick in the book -- The "Tough" Guys
Matt Barnes, Los Angeles Clippers: Barnes once had shirts in Orlando made in his honor that simply said "Matt Barnes will kill you" with an angry Barnes face plastered next to the phrase.
Barnes is a physical defender who does everything he can physically to get under your skin. He is quick to have a temper and is not afraid to lash out. He is a great teammate, but not a guy you want to play against. Case in point, in February 2010, Barnes went toe-to-toe and challenged Kobe Bryant physically and mentally in a game in Orlando. Bryant than pushed the Lakers to acquire Barnes in free agency the next year.
Tyler Hansbrough, Indiana Pacers: Hansbrough knows just about every dirty trick in the book and just gets under people's skin with his relentless pursuit of the ball. He will keep fighting for loose balls long after the whistle and just wants to work hard and play hard.
That is a great thing. Hansbrough is a nice player. But he just goes too far sometimes.
Really? -- The Floppers
Reggie Evans, Brooklyn Nets: He goes in the record book as the first player to be fined for flopping. Evans is hard-nosed player who goes after loose balls and gets on the glass. But, man, does he take some odd falls with little contact. For someone who is so tough on the glass, he knows how to fall like he has been hit by something on the smallest contact.
Zaza Pachulia, Atlanta Hawks: Pachulia has little offensive skill. To stay in the league for 10 years, Pachulia has developed a hard-nosed defensive mentality and the ability to flail and fall when going up against bigger players. He is great at using his six fouls and trying to get the other player into foul trouble.
Shooters touch -- The Flailers
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant is not nice. Proof? He has a rule made just for him. Durant used to sweep his arms through defenders as they tried to defend him and get to the foul line for two easy free throws. This is about as dirty as Durant gets, but he still tries it on occasion and referees still occasionally call it.
Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers: Crawford has taken the mantle from Reggie Miller and uses the infamous leg kick to draw fouls. He loves doing it on made 3-pointers especially and has the NBA record for most 4-point plays. That feels fishy, doesn't it? Crawford is good at getting his body flying out there and still making shots, causing defenders to give him even more room to score.
|Like CC on Facebook||Follow CC on Twitter|
As I predicted the Heats streak is over. I just read an article on the dirtiest players and Kobi black mamba was not in it. Lebron was number 1 lol. OMG how embarrasing that man is his whinning is atrocious,his flopping makes me sick.
I guess im a dreamer but I would like to see our sports played with pride and dignity but its all about the money. Only most of the fans play fair.
@kaysspot You're right! Only the fans play fair, and the fans are always the ones that get their chain pulled. Pride and dignity would be well served in the pro sports world but the almighty dollar is supreme.
Biggest whiners? The entire Indiana Pacers roster. They've taken the Pistons place as the team that cries about EVERY. SINGLE. CALL. Sometimes they even argue the calls against the other team just to keep sharp. The worst offender on the team is that wussy coach of theirs - he starts complaining about the referees two weeks before the season starts.
Kobe would fit right in on the Pacers roster.
@Indy! Wow! that's amazing, Pacers are small fry whiners compared to the Heat, Bulls and Celtics (who I consider the cream of the whining crop.)
Still, Wade has to be the King of the Cheap Shot artists, the dude is just dirty.
Wow such hate for Kobi.I wont even try to change anyones mind.. Just want to say that his name is Kobi not Kobe. ugh
How can any starter that is around the ball as much as Lebron not get called for a foul in 6 yes 6 straight games? MJ speacial statis, that's how!
any game where you get touched and you can call a foul, leaves too much up to the refs. Plus the leauge seems to want superstars and have a different set of rules for them(Jordan rules) Steps, palming, no charge always a block etc. Give me rugby, American football, ice hockey
News to Kobe haters-like it or not, Kobe is a legend!!! It's natural for winners to get under the skin of losers!!
@boxfan1 you couldn't pay me 8 cents to watch Kobi or LaBron...i personally want the NBA to go bankrupt
6 games without a foul called on lebron ??? wth. Something is wrong with that picture!!! 3x mvp..ha..they hype him up no matter what..doesnt matter..nba desparate for a poster child and that is who 'they' picked.. not the fans.. he is NOT the greatest in the league..can't believe Magic is even drinking the koolaid on this..but oh well
@ann213 He's a legend in his OWN mind. He is a pile of crap. Hope the lakers win every game he misses just like they did years ago, just to show the idiots in the world how worthless he is...total joke he is
After watching the Kobe video over 10 times, My conclusion is that Kobe is just super upset that he got defended very well and is crying and coming up with that ridiculous excuse. Even the idiocy of the commentator is bias. Jones jumped and the momentum took him forward. Kobe just landed wrong and just wants an excuse for failing. It is a shame that such a huge talent will come up with such garbage just to excuse a missed shot. Shame on you Kobe, Why don't you admit that you are not superman or God for that matter and are not able to do everything on your own, maybe if you will have passed the ball and quit being a ball hog your team will not be in the position they are in. Selfish spoiled brat.
If you know anything about football then you know that Jones is a dirty player and he should have been called..I dont understand all this hate for someone who is one of or the best player around. He is not arrogant or spoiled. He loves the game and his team and I say Good for you Black Mamba. You are the greatest.
@serranc1 Much of your point is well-taken, but some of it is just flat-out wrong. Since when is twisting one's ankle (whether or not it was caused by someone else's foot) an "excuse for failing"? Kobe NEVER mentioned that he missed the shot or that Dhantay Jones caused him to miss it. He was upset that Jones somehow seemed to get under him even though he was--and this is a great point by Kobe--FADING AWAY. How is that possible?
The second point about being a "ball hog" is at least argueable in Kobe's game overall, but clearly NOT during the Laker's resurgeance. His wilingness to be a facilitator, along with the team's new committment to defense, is the primary difference.
You had good overall points that deserves to be made. However Kobe has also been denied a lot of credit for making his team better, not worse.
@serranc1 awesome comment...couldn't have said it better....Ive said it for years, KOBI is the Lakers biggest problem....ball hog and ego boy
I disagree..This is the Nba He knew where Kobe was going he funneled kobe to the base line..and he knew Kobe was falling away. Jones didn't even leave his feet to contest the shot kobe had a clear look but jones just kept walking under him..We all know it was dirty I don't think he wanted to injury Kobe but i don't think he cared if he did... He's done these type of things before and he was frustrated Kobe has torched him all his career ..He was frustrated at Kobe just like Wade in the all start game resulting into a broken nose for Kobe
A good idea would be for the nba refs to make the same calls on everyone. No star treatment would make the game more fair.
That foul on Kobe was not intentional.Kobe landed on his foot. Jones would have to first know the move Kobe was getting ready to do, he would have to anticipate the fade away or the straight up, then he would have to put his own ankle at risk. None of this makes no sense.
@knickfan212 That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard! Refs making the same calls for everyone? Are you some kind of commie? Are you trying to subvert the system? Do you think fans will put up with having the superstar they paid $80 a seat to see foul out in the first period? I don't think they even call a straight game at the high school level any more. The idea of honest basketball officiating is pretty much a joke, especially at the pro level.
@knickfan212 You take the game the ref's give you, You play when things go your way and you play when the whole world is against you, Ref's make huge mistakes all the time, That is the beauty of this game, Overcome all the negative with your skills, I grew up watching Dr. J and co. and those guys took what ever the game refs gave them, If the refs were against them, them up the talents God gave you and rise to another level.
Oh, didn't you know..that is exactly why Lebron gets his MVPs? The refs give those to him..personally. in fact they all get together over at THEIR house, cause he gets everything handed to him, and they discuss how he only is awarded so many fouls per month. You're absolutely right..Lebron is The Chosen One and everybody else pays for him.
@TheBrick36 I agree..Miami will not lose until the Nba Refs start calling the games both ways...How can you put pressure on the heat when you there star Players especially Lebron never get called for a foul..To be honest I don't even really see him play tough man to man Defense anymore..he just plays passing lanes and until teams start to understand that they must make Miami play for Lebron not playing defense or leaving his man to block a shot from behind ,they will continue to win
Didn't you know that Lebron James NEVER FOULS?! Just ask him. Every call made against him, and there are far too few that he gets called for, he complains. The special treatment he gets from NBA officials isn't enough. He gets the award for BIGGEST WHINEBAG IN THE NBA.
Really?! Lebron James as the number one complainer? Wow.. I smell yet another consistent hater. Yes, in fact watch..as you will see there are MANY players and teams getting away with holding, hacking and smacking Bron (ehh emm Pacers); yet he continues to play through those plays..many which could have been "and ones". If it weren't for his mansculpture, machine athleticism, you would see him knocked down a heck of alot more!
Not saying he doesn't complain, but him on your "top" list?? Many, many more ahead of him; not to mention, Wade probably complains more than he does. Check your list twice brah.
Now this is funny!!, the NBA, in a gesture of sympathy said the refs should have called a foul on Dhantay and should have awarded 2 free throws to Kobe. All this because Kobe was accordingly "hurt". If Kobe was not hurt as they think he is, they will stand their ground and defend the refs. Now, the news is Kobe will play against Indiana tonight. Disgusting not because Kobe can play but because of all the flopping and theatrics. There are individual floppers but when it comes to team flopper, nobody beats the Lakers.
@dingsterman Mannn I am so in agreement with your statement...
@dingsterman Are you kidding me...Kobe doesn't flop...You just lost all credibility ..He hardly takes charges...You must of never played basketball because every shooter I know. Knows thats a dangerous play ..Its called UNDER CUTTING DUDE...wtf are you talking about. It was a last second shot that a player got injured on of course the Nba is going to review that play...You don't go full speed for a shot then shoot a fall away and end up with some one under you...I have never seen a busted ankle off of a fall away
Lets not forget the time Kobe broke Ginobli's nose with his "Natural shooting motion" All these guy's calling it a dirty play especially Kobe just need shut the hell up.
Kobe Bryant just wants attention it’s OK when he kicks his leg out on a jump shot that's fine for him. Now if he plays everyone will say boy he sure is tough just like MJ. Dont get me wrong he is a great player but he does love him some Kobe.
Dangerous play, dirty...probably not but at the same time this needs to be addressed. The NBA should do something about players walking into and undercutting shooters, make it a flagrant 2? Same as a foul up around the head area, I think that seems right. Funny to see all the Lakers/Kobe haters on here, as well as other blogs about this issue, that don't realize that this is a serious issue and think Kobe is just whining. The health and well being of players should be protected whether it is Kobe, Lebron, or KD.
@TSOAT422 Your statement is true if that was the case in this incident. But this is not what happened in this situation and Kobe need to shut up and play ball. Hurt ankle very badly but came back to play at another game very soon. Faker....
Hey, I've got an idea. Why don't the NBA teams have a half dozen thug players on each team; throw away players if you will. They take they floor, walk up to the star player on the opposing team and just knock him out cold. GAME OVER... The thug gets kicked out, fined (but later reimbursed by the team) and then they use the next thug throw away player until the offending thug gets back into the THUG ROTATION. Seems like a good idea to me. Oh yes, one last thought. Get rid of the referees. After last nights game, who needs stinking referees.
Get well Kobe.
@JosiahHuskins Did Noah take your girlfriend or run over your dog or something?Where did that come from?
@phlkolar @JosiahHuskins It's an article about the dirtiest players in the NBA. Noah should always be included on those kinds of lists. He's this generation's Bill Lambieer. Minus the clothesline