Video: Dahntay Jones Plays Dirty
There's no other way to say it, really: the way that Dahntay Jones has chosen to play against Kobe Bryant in the last two games of the Conference Finals has been dirty. The first play in that video clip is the intentional trip from Game 4; the second is a two-handed push in the back from Game 3. The former wasn't even ruled a personal foul at the time, but the latter was upgraded to a flagrant-one a day later.
Bryant took the high road when asked about it post-game, while Kenyon Martin proudly (but not surprisingly) welcomed Jones to the "dirty player" club.
"No, I just fell on my face for no reason. I'm a klutz," Bryant said sarcastically afterwards, when asked if he thought he was tripped by Jones. But when prodded, he said simply, "That was good defense."
Phil Jackson wasn't as forgiving.
"There's another situation out there tonight that was unacceptable by Dahntay Jones," Jackson said. "Just unacceptable defense, tripping guys and playing unsportsmanlike basketball."
Unsportsmanlike is putting it mildly.
There's really no place for plays like that that are meant to injure guys when there's not even a slight attempt at making a play on the ball -- that's why the league upgraded the shove in the back to a flagrant foul the following day, and that's why no one would be surprised if Jones ends up getting suspended for Game 5.
Kenyon Martin, who is himself known to be a little extra-physical at times, seemed to be proud of his teammate's play.
"Tay you a dirty player now, welcome. It's an elite club to be considered one of those."
The club might be elite, but that's because few players in the league want to be slapped with that kind of reputation. Jones obviously doesn't care, at least for the moment. If he's forced to sit out a pivotal Game 5 because of it, however, he might want to reconsider.