Cube -- decked out in Lakers gear -- was at LAX this weekend when we asked the rap legend about Kobe's claim that Jones cheap-shotted him during a fadeaway jumper last week ... causing Bryant to injure his ankle.
"It's kinda whack when you gotta cheat to win," Cube said ... saying, "But [Kobe's] a champ, he'll come back. That ankle will be strong."
But we didn't just talk basketball with Cube -- the rapper gave us some thoughts on the new pope ... said one thing that MIGHT be considered a diss toward the old pope. Check out the clip.