Hawks guard Dahntay Jones took to television to further defend his actions in the final seconds of Wednesday night’s victory over the Lakers.
Jones appeared on ESPN Thursday to claim he is not a dirty player after Lakers star Kobe Bryant suffered a severe ankle sprain after missing a potential game-tying shot.
“The play I don’t think was dirty because all I was trying to do was contest a jump shot,” Jones told the network. “Yes it was a fade away but when you deal with shooters or high-profile scorers you have to try to get as close to them as possible to contest jump shots.
“So, even though he faded away you still don’t give up on a play. You try to still contest it. That’s all I was trying to do. I wasn’t trying to do anything dirty. We played 48 minutes of basketball before that. There were not issues before that. And I wouldn’t take him out on the last play of the game.”
Jones refused to speak to the local media about the incident Thursday, an off day for the Hawks. The team also refused to make him available saying he would address the situation following shootaround in preparation for Friday night’s game against the Suns.
Bryant took exception to Jones walking under him during the shot – a play he deemed “dangerous” in post-game comments and Tweets. Bryant is out indefinitely, according to the Lakers. X-rays taken after the game were negative.