By Liz Habib:
Just as the Lakers grabbed the 8th and final spot to make it into the Western Conference finals, during a season that has been full of drama and surprises, as Dwight Howard has begun to feel better and be more dominant, and as Kobe Bryant has carried the team on his back in a burst of youthful exuberance…..DISASTER for the Lakers!
During last night's Lakers-Hawks Game Kobe Bryant sprained his ankle on the last shot of the game. He is out indefinitely according to John Black of the Lakers. (I predict, indefinitely = 1 game, but the MRI doesn't come until Thursday and the picture Kobe's wife sent out on instagram is pretty nasty.)
In postgame comments Kobe went off on Dahntay Jones of the Hawks, saying Jones landed recklessly on Kobe's ankle.
Kobe said: "Can't get my mind past the fact that I've got to wait a year to get revenge.
Want a good look at that ankle? Kobe's wife Vanessa posted the xray on instagram. Look at that golf ball sized swelling:pic.twitter.com/tSs8OeMqEJ
And, Kobe tweeted too:
"@kobebryant #dangerousplay that should have been called. Period."
There's some history between the two players. AT 10pm, we also showed video from the 2009 playoffs when the Lakers played the Nuggets (Jones was on the Nuggets) and Jones tripped Kobe. The game announcers talk about how it was "on purpose," (good natsound) and Jones was eventually given a flagrant foul.
Kobe also , last night said he was : "Jalen Rose'd."
Well, Jalen Rose who now works for ESPN, just recently admitted he did it on purpose. Here's a podcast from September 2012 with Jalen admitting it: http://youtu.be/r0T08-gJVccs "I think I did it on purpose," Rose said. "I can't say that it was an accident."
In 2006: Kobe got revenge (since he's talking about revenge on Jones). He scored 81 points against Toronto and Jalen Rose, (who was on the Raptors). http://youtu.be/qRikrksH8es
The Lakers' push for the playoffs might be without Kobe Bryant for a while.
The Los Angeles star severely sprained his left ankle Wednesday night after missing a game-tying shot in the closing seconds of a loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Lakers spokesman John Black said Bryant is out indefinitely, just as a team that underachieved much of the season is playing its best basketball. The 96-92 loss snapped a four-game winning streak and was just Los Angeles' third loss in the last 12 games.
The injury occurred with the Lakers trailing by two, after Bryant put up a baseline jumper that slid off the rim with 3 seconds remaining. As he came down, his left foot landed on defender Dahntay Jones' right foot, twisting awkwardly as Bryant crumpled to the court.
[Jones and Kobe apparenlty have quite a history where Jones apparently trips Kobe on purpose during a game in 2009. Kobe said tonight he will now have to wait a year to get revenge]
No foul was called.
Bryant remained down for a few seconds then hobbled to the bench accompanied by the trainer. The 34-year-old seemed perturbed that he couldn't stay in the game, but he had to sit since the Lakers were out of timeouts.
Kyle Korver hit two free throws to clinch Atlanta's win.
While X-rays were negative, Bryant could miss significant time. He said it's the worst sprain he's had in his 16-year career, and blamed Jones for sliding underneath him after he went up for the shot.
"First and foremost, the officials really need to protect shooters," Bryant said. "You just can't go into shooters. That's a dangerous play."
He didn't say how long he might be out.
"I'll just do what I have to do," Bryant said.
Then, he delivered a warning to Jones and the Hawks.
"I can't get my mind past the fact that I have to wait a year to get revenge," Bryant said, knowing the teams don't meet again in the regular season. "It's just a very, very dangerous play, especially when I'm fading away."
Bryant has carried the Lakers in their turnaround and ranks among the NBA scoring leaders at 27.5 points per game. Despite scoring 31 points against the Hawks, it was largely an off night. He made just 11 of 33 shots and missed the biggest one of all with a chance to force overtime.
"He can't be Superman every day," coach Mike D'Antoni said.