NBA says Kobe Bryant was fouled on play he was hurt
Kobe Bryant says Dahntay Jones' dangerous defense left him with a sprained left ankle, and the NBA agreed.
Now, the Los Angeles Lakers are hoping the injury doesn't keep their star away from a playoff push for long.
Bryant spent Thursday getting several hours of treatment on what he called the worst sprained ankle of his 17 NBA seasons, hoping to be healthy for Friday night's game at Indiana.
Although the Lakers offered no update on his condition after saying Bryant was out "indefinitely," the NBA acknowledged Jones should have been called for a foul on the play that left Bryant crumpled on the court in Atlanta Wednesday night.
The fifth-leading scorer in NBA history was hurt when he landed on Jones' foot with 4 seconds left after attempting a potential tying jumper in the Lakers' 96-92 loss to the Hawks.
Bryant rolled on the ground and eventually left the court in pain, furious about Jones' tactics in sliding underneath him while Bryant hung in the air.
Bryant tweeted about it yesterday, including a hashtag: "cleanupthegame."
The NBA later said video replay confirmed Bryant was fouled. "After review at the league office, video replay confirmed that referees missed a foul call on Jones as he challenged Bryant's shot and did not give him the opportunity to land cleanly back on the floor," the statement said.
"Bryant should have been granted two free throws."
Bryant tweeted that his ankle was "still very swollen. Treatment all day."
Bryant coined another hashtag for it -- "dangerousplay" -- and later tweeted: "He knows what he did and anyone with half a brain can see it. I don't want it to happen to anyone else!" Bryant and Jones have a history, too: Jones blatantly stuck out his leg to trip Bryant during Game 4 of the 2009 Western Conference finals while Jones played for the Denver Nuggets.