Kobe Bryant once blasted an Atlanta Hawks player for doing what Zaza Pachulia did in Game 1

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers

Everyone seemingly has an opinion on what Golden State center Zaza Pachulia did on the play that injured San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard.

Though former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant hasn't addressed the Pachulia-Leonard situation directly, he had a similar thing happen to him back in 2013.

Playing against the Atlanta Hawks - a team that Pachulia played for at the time, ironically - Bryant came down on Dahntay Jones's foot and sprained his ankle.

After that ominous 2013 game, Bryant tore into Jones, saying Jones "Jalen Rose'd him" on the play and calling it a dirty way to defend another player, as you can see in the video below:

"I just think players need to be made conscious of it and I think officials need to protect shooters. Period. I'm always conscious of it. When I go to contest shots, I'm always really conscious of making sure I don't walk underneath them. 

"It's just a very, very dangerous play. Especially if I'm fading away, there's no rhyme or reason why I should come down anywhere near somebody's foot."

Leonard was also fading away from the basket when he landed on Pachulia's foot, so it's probably safe to assume that Bryant wasn't a fan of what happened to the Spurs star on Sunday afternoon.


It's one thing if a player is shooting a pull-up jumper or moving toward the basket when they land, but Kobe's point is that a player shoots a fadeaway specifically to stay away from the defender, so if that defender still ends up underneath the shooter, it's a dangerous play.

Now, Leonard will almost certainly miss Game 2 on Tuesday night and may not be ready to take the court for the rest of the series.

Even if Pachulia didn't intend to injure Leonard on the play, coach Gregg Popovich thinks the Warriors center should be punished more severely: 

"Who gives a damn about what his intent was? You ever hear of manslaughter?" Popovich said. "You still go to jail, I think, when you're texting and you end up killing somebody. But you might not have intended to do that.

"All I care is what I saw. All I care about is what happened and the history there exacerbates the whole situation, and makes me very, very angry."

Pop is also angry, obviously, because the Spurs stand almost no chance of taking down the top-seeded Warriors without the star forward in the mix. Based on the reaction on social media to Pachulia's play, it's clear that many Spurs fans share the coach's feelings toward the Golden State center.

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