The ankle that roared

Can we please, for one second, stop talking about Kobe Bryant’s ankle?

From the moment Dahntay Jones, now the league’s dirtiest player since Bill Laimbeer, attempted to cover Kobe’s last-second shot against the Atlanta Hawks, we’ve heard about Kobe’s tender ankle.  “Out indefinitely” is what we were told, the Lakers’ playoff hopes dashed with a single, unfortunate twist.

I did a Google search for “Kobe” and “ankle” the other night and received fifty-six million responses.  That’s a lot of swelling.  Can someone please get the internet an ice pack?

Here’s what happened.   The Lakers were losing to Atlanta Friday night.  Down two points, Kobe went up for a last second shot.  (After all, who else on their roster would take it?)  Kobe missed the shot but, depending on who you ask, the aforementioned Jones apparently got too close to Kobe’s landing point.  His left ankle landed squarely on Jones’ foot, prompting much of the mainstream media to ask what Jones was doing undercutting Kobe in the first place.  How dare he get so close, basketball not being a contact sport and all.

Afterwards, with microphones shoved in his face and the collective breath of Laker nation held intact, we heard Kobe tell the media he got “Jalen Rosed,” in reference to an incident twelve years prior where Rose, then with the Indiana Pacers and now an analyst for ESPN, came under Kobe while he elevated for a jump shot.   Rose has admitted that he undercut Kobe to intentionally do him harm, sticking out his foot for Kobe to land awkwardly.

Friday’s ankle-turning was no “Jalen Rosing.”  I challenge you to view, and review, Jones’ coverage of Bryant’s last second jumper and determine there was intent to harm.

Hours afterwards, we were told that Kobe was out indefinitely (Oh, the horror!) while other injuries that happened the very same night, such as Carmelo Anthony’s or Tyson Chandler’s, carried far less weight.  I was watching the Knicks-Denver game when Chandler bumped knees with Corey Brewer.  There was genuine concern of ligament damage as he was helped off the court, yet nowhere near the coverage of how long he’d be out.

We just cared about Kobe.  Invent the Kobe Ankle App and become the world’s next millionaire.   We were even treated to close-ups of Kobe’s ankle, a battle wound that rocked the nation.

That was, of course, until Kobe played in THE VERY NEXT GAME!  Ladies and gentlemen, we have redefined indefinite.  Please alert Noah Webster.

At this point, we don’t need for Kobe to prove to us he’s a tough guy.  We know he’s a tough guy.  Nor do we need hourly updates on the swelling of Kobe’s anklebone.  We get that he’s one of the best players ever, trying to carry a Lakers team full of dysfunction into the playoffs.  Just spare us the violin strings and the lectures about the unwritten rules about how to cover a jump shooter.

I’m no professional basketball player but one rule I know to be true is that, with the game on the line, you cover your man like a blanket no matter who he is.

Maybe it’s the media’s fault for fueling the fire, inducing Kobe to say his only regret was having to wait another, full season to exact his ‘revenge’ on Jones, clearly an act more fine-worthy than having an opponent accidentally land on your foot.

Or perhaps, just perhaps, all this talk is overblown, considering Kobe was on the floor two nights later.

Kudos to Kobe for being in uniform, playing through pain and cheering his team onto victory in the very next game and those that followed.  He’s a gamer.  Just spare us the hour-by-hour infla-mamba-tion coverage.  After all, that swelling can’t be any bigger than his ego.

33 thoughts on “The ankle that roared

  1. Pingback: The ankle that roared - BallHyped Blog Network, NBA | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. He should heed his own words to Dwight Howard, man up and play through the pain. What a pussy.

  3. That would be sweet, Snake.

    If Dwight Howard flipped the script and criticized Kobe for not playing hurt.

    That would pretty much seal the deal for L.A. doing anything worthwhile this season, other than stinking up the joint.

  4. Most prima donnas in the NBA today are pussies when it comes to a little pain. Its a big contrast to Kevin McHale playing in the 1987 playoffs with a broken bone in his right foot and still averaged 39 minutes/game.

  5. Is Kobe’s ankle worth more or insured for more than the entire Lakers’ payroll ?

    No truth to the rumor that Lindsay Vonn is pregnant with Woods’ child . It’s hearsay and damn gossip , that’s all .

    Dennis Rodman is about to become the US’s Ambassador to the Vatican , Pope Francis needs a pickup partner for his 2-on-2 pickup ball games with the Swiss Guard within the Vatican City

    Calipari will be petitioning the NBA to rescind the rules concerning players’ eligibility before declaring the NBA Draft. ” Screw the one and done mantra ” ………… he says . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    Tophatal …….

  6. That’s easy. There weren’t any. All the tough guys wore green.
    OK, try this list:
    1. Wilt Chamberlain
    2. Bob Lanier
    3. Wayne Embry
    4. Jack Sikma
    5. Dikembe Mutombo

  7. I really think it’s unfair to just expect people to play through the pain. It’s dumb. That’s what Grant Hill did and it ruined his career. Sure, McHale did it. And it stymied years of good production he could have given his team. It’s not about being a pussy. It’s about doing permanent vs temporary damage. Some injuries can be played through and some can’t.

  8. Chris

    With the World Bull$hit Classic about to culminate tonight , now we can get down to some real baseball !

    How this for karma ? Rangers’ President Nolan Ryan has been removed from his position within the Texas Rangers . All this after the fallout of the Rangers disastrous postseason debacle , and with them having led the AL West for 162 of the 182 days of regular season play in 2012 , only to end up losing their divisional crown to the A’s .

    Dropped this MLB piece .

    It was the best of times and the worst of times

    Tophatal …………..

  9. I know you are just trolling for me to comment on the Lakers.

    On that subject…Kobe has been kicking his legs into people for years to get cheap fouls. In other words, Dahntay Jones did undercut him, but Kobe deserved it.

    P.S. These comment threads would be so much better if you got rid of that idiotic lunatic asshole Tophatal.

  10. I don’t know that Jones intentionally tried to injure…I tend to lean to the no side of that question…However…While I agree with you that a defender should defend to the best of his ability without fouling, Jones made no attempt to block or even really contest the shot. That would be much easier to forgive. Instead, he tried to crowd KB with his body as much as possible, which in and of itself isn’t a crime, but when KB’s falling away and Jones still manages to get under him to the point that KB lands on his foot…That constitues at the bare minimum a whistle. Had the injury not happened, it wouldn’t really be an issue, but the rules say the shooter is entitled room to land and that wasn’t afforded Kobe on that play…Again, I reiterate that Kobe was falling away from Jones.

    As far as the anklegate overexposure aspect, chalk it up to Laker Nation being the Google of the NBA fandom universe. The most popular player on the most popular team fighting for a playoff spot and the likelyhood that this ankle could easily have spelled doom to any playoff hopes this team had. Thankfully, the other guys stepped it up in his absence…until they got steamrolled in Phoenix anyway.

    As far as him “playing” the very next game, maybe it was a motivational tactic for his teammates. Maybe it was him showing Dwight the I do as I say thing. Maybe it’s just plain stubborness or ego…Whatever it is, when it comes to showing up for work, the guy is the model employee. Poisoned burgers, rape trials, broken fingers or swollen ankles he shows up if humanly possible. It’s easy to hate the guy, but as a Lakers fan, it’s just as easy to love him.

  11. Al…

    If you remember, it wasn’t all that long ago that the Lakers were irrelevant.

    Those were your post-Magic, pre-Kobe/Shaq days. Assuming Kobe has two to three more years left in him, I wonder if the Lakers have a post-Kobe game plan, and do you think it includes Dwight?

    And Calipari? His summer vacation started a little earlier than expected thanks to Robert Morris.

  12. Snake…

    I just thought of an interesting stat that I’m not sure how I’d be able to look up.

    I wonder if someone’s ever measured percentage of games played over one’s entire career. For example, how many games players missed do to injury as opposed to players suiting up and getting in the ballgame.

  13. Pest….

    Don’t get me wrong. I agree, which is why I was surprised to see Kobe out there that following game.

    I also like what the Cavs are doing with Kyrie Irving. Not only are teams vested in players but we’re talking about the players’ livelihoods.

    Sit ’em if they’re not ready but if they are, get ’em on out there.

  14. Wow, Bleed. That was perhaps the least homer thing you’ve ever said. I’m impressed.

    Remember though, not every shot has to be blocked. You’re not gonna block Kobe’s fadeaway. Maybe Jones’ intent was to do just as you suggested, get in his face and body enough to distract him.

    Either way, I think most basketball fans would rather see Kobe on the floor than off it. Here’s hoping to a speedy recovery.

  15. Al…

    Pretty bizarre story about Nolan Ryan. I’ll admit to not following it that closely. I just assumed he could do no wrong there.

    I guess that wasn’t the case.

  16. Chris, you’ll never find stats like that. They didn’t even start counting steals, blocks and offensive/defensive rebounds until the 73-74 season.

  17. From J-Dub:

    Hahaha!!! Finally, a comment I can get behind. Can anyone say,”long-winded and off-topic?”
    Let the cat fight begin. Owwwww.

  18. Chris,

    IMO these dudes were bad as in tough

    Mahorn
    Oakley
    Wilt
    Calvin Murphy(lb per lb toughest)
    Dwayne Scales

    Did I mention Wilt? Oh yeah.

  19. Hey, Kobe’s no finesse player by any means. How ’bout that ‘accidental’ forearm to Gnobili’s nose?

    Reiterating on the Calvin Murphy toughness. I saw him kick the crap outta Sidney Wicks. A guy a foot taller and 100lbs heavier. No contest.

  20. Iverson was a tough little bastard. Artest is no pushover. As much as I hated him, Larry Legend was nails….But the unquestionable toughest man in NBA history is AC Green.

    Not for his ironman streak of 1,192 games that still stands…But rather for holding onto his virginity while Magic and Dr. Buss indulged in Playmate orgies and James Worthy paid the pros in H-town, AC was the original 40 year old virgin…(38 to be precise, but holy blue balls Batman, isn’t that close enough?) When he finally tied the knot, he took a two month honeymoon to make up for lost time.

    Wonder how long it was until either of them was able to walk normally again.

  21. Bets…

    Good call on Mahorn. Dude, have you seen him lately? He was doing some analysis on NBA TV with Isiah Thomas. He was literally three times his size.

    I would not want to go to a steakhouse with that guy, particularly if I was picking up the tab.

    And hey, does Calvin Murphy still hold that consecutive free throw record?

  22. Bleed…

    Another good call on Iverson.

    Funny about AC Green. I always have this visual of him shaking his head disapprovingly as Magic would take girls into hot tub house parties five at a time.

    He was Tebow before it was fashionable.

  23. Good ? Chris. Had to look it up:

    A look at the NBA’s record for most consecutive free throws made.
    FTs made Player (Team) Dates
    97 Micheal Williams (Timberwolves) March 24, 1993 – Nov. 9, 1993
    87 Jose Calderon (Raptors) April 11, 2008 – Jan. 30, 2009
    81 Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (Nuggets) March 15, 1993 – Nov. 16, 1993
    78 Calvin Murphy (Rockets) Dec. 27, 1980 – Feb. 28, 1981

  24. That’s odd, Bets. I could have sworn that record was still his.

    Remind me to tell you my Abdul-Rauf (Chris Jackson) story one time.

    Oh, what the hell, no time like the present.

    I was enrolled at UF when Chris Jackson and his LSU Tigers came to town one night. His was still the single most-impressive scoring performance I’ve ever seen live. Kid was lighting it up from everywhere. Unstoppable.

    At one point, he was so hot, he took a few dribbles past half court, launched… and good.

    They beat us 110-101 that night and as the final buzzer sounded, moments later, the PA announcer said “Ladies and gentlemen, unofficially, Chris Jackson has scored 51 points.”

    Sick, dude.

  25. Chris

    It’s as the old saying goes ” beware of the eyes of March ” …. et tu Brutus ? Nolan stabbed Chuck Greenberg in the back and had him thrown out of his position as CEO at the time . Greenberg did more than anyone to bring the Rangers out of bankruptcy and then get that major tv contract negotiated ($3 billion over two decades) as well getting the syndicate together that currently makes up the Rangers’ c_id=tex”> ownership group .

    If at all interested let me know what you think with regard to the following ?

    MLB piece as it deals with the Phillies and Rangers

    It was the best of times and the worst of times

    NBA piece : Are James and Wade currently the best pairing in the NBA ? And where would they rank amongst the top NBA duos in NBA history ?

    Batman and Robin move over , there are a new pair of caped crime fighters in town , namely The King and D-Wade

    Tophatal ………………..

  26. Al…

    Maybe the Houston Astros will pick up Ryan. They could certainly use the help.

    Be right over to check out your Wade/LeBron piece.

    How are your brackets holding up?

  27. Chris

    Nolan Ryan , isn’t going anywhere , not while there’s money to be made with the Rangers . Besides , you drop at least $ 5 million of your own money for a piece a MLB franchise , don’t you want something in return ?

    My brackets are going the way of my last marriage , it’s only good when I am not thinking about it .

    I might need to visit Florida Gulf Coast University to see how much action there is to be had !

    Tophatal …………

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