According to Bryant on his Twitter feed . . . absolutely.
#dangerousplay that should have been called. Period.
With his team down two, Bryant took a baseline fadeaway that didn't drop. Jones stepped under the jumping Bryant, who landed on Jones' foot.
Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant, posted a picture on Instagram depicting a very swollen, discolered ankle. The Lakers guard is out indefinitely with the sprain.
Jones had a different perspective on the play, writing that Bryant illegally kicked out his right leg.
Tape doesn't lie. Ankle was turned on the floor after the leg kick out that knocked him off balance. I would never try to hurt the man— Dahntay (@dahntay1) March 14, 2013
Leg kick that makes contact with a defensive player is an offense foul. Period. The nba changed that rule 2 yrs ago. Stop it!— Dahntay (@dahntay1) March 14, 2013
Naturally, Bryant didn't see it that way (responding to a follower on Twitter).
@thadeacon I respectfully disagree. He knows what he did and anyone with half a brain can see it. I don't want it to happen to anyone else!— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) March 14, 2013
Bryant then passed on a link to a video that showed Jones intentionally tripping him in a playoff game against the Denver Nuggets in 2009. Jones was suspended a game retroactively.
In an indirect back and forth, Jones replied on Twitter.
Now what happened in 09' I am not proud of but it was a heated playoff series with a championship on the line— Dahntay (@dahntay1) March 14, 2013
Jones didn't apologize for the play but he tweeted that he did not intend to injure Bryant on the play.
Who is correct? Bryant did kick out his right leg as part of his shooting motion -- although it was away from Jones to Bryant's right.
Jones definitely stepped under Bryant, who was in the air. By NBA standards, it was a dangerous defensive play. It didn't look malicious but judging intent is difficult at best.
The precedent set in 2009 suggests Jones' is capable of a dirty play but the end result for the Lakers is the same regardless. Bryant is out and his team has a lot of work to do to stay in the playoff hunt until he returns.