Former NBA Star Criticized for Playing Dirty on Kobe Bryant Unveils His True Opinions on the Lakers Legend: “Idolized Him, and Ray Allen and Jordan”

Published 05/26/2022, 8:00 AM EDT
Jan 21 2009: Kobe Bryant during the 108-97 Los Angeles Lakers victory over the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Darryl Dennis/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant has squared off against several players. It ended with Bryant proving that he’s the best player on the floor most of the time. Kobe’s skill level was insane, and sometimes it was insanely tough to stop him in clutch situations. However, one player had different plans to stop Bryant from hitting the game.

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Unnecessary landing on players’ space, and pushing players in transition are a few examples of dirty plays. One of the players in Bryant’s prime tried to play the same against him. Though he does have respect for Kobe and other greats.

Jones was a big fan of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan

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Dahntay Jones, a former player who won a ring playing alongside LeBron James, talked about Kobe’s injury in a recent interview. It was during a regular-season game in 2013, when the game went down the wire and Kobe had to hit the game-winner. While going up for the shot, Jones went under Bryant, landing in his space, which wasn’t always considered a foul back then. Bryant landed on Jones’ foot, injuring his ankle and missing the shot too.

Fast forward to 9 years and Jones opened up about that game and what Bryant really meant to him. Jones was a big fan of Bryant. He idolized him and always tried to do everything Kobe did. Jordan, Ray Allen, and Bryant himself inspired him.

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“I’ve always been a super fan of Kobe. Kobe is a year ahead of me. Like all the stuff you hear about, he was doing that abcd, like all this, all the rumors you hear about Kobe. I’m from Jersey, Philly, right there like you hear all of this. You’re trying everything he does, like been a fan in college, idolized him and Ray Allen and Jordan.”, said Dahntay.

Jones had huge respect for Kobe

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Although he hurt Kobe on several occasions, sometimes on purpose, Jones had always been a fan of him. Nonetheless, Dahntay had a decent NBA career. He played for 8 teams and won his first ring in the second last season of his career.

Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) takes a breather against the Denver Nuggets during the second half of the Lakers’ 103-88 game 1 first round NBA playoff game win at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 29, 2012. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post (Photo By AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

He received a lot of hatred for hurting Bryant, though he confessed that he would never try to hurt Kobe. Jones said, “So if I was gonna hurt that man like that’s the last kind of person I would really try to hurt.

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It does seem that there was nothing personal from Jones’ side. Whereas Kobe at the time had to point the blame toward the referees for not being attentive to the defensive players’ moves.

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Balraj Singh Babrah

232 articles

Balraj Singh Babrah is an NBA writer with EssentiallySports. He has been an NBA fan since 2016, and watching Curry shoot from distance inspired him to play basketball. Additionally, he loves analyzing and predicting games based on stats.

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