There have been a number of different reactions to the video clips that surfaced last week of former Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice physically and verbally abusing his players. One of Rice’s former players, Mike Coburn, said that Rice took it too far at times but that the team understood him. Chipper Jones said he thought the players should toughen up and that he has dealt with much worse from coaches.
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant doesn’t agree with either Coburn or Jones. Instead, he told Showtime’s Jim Rome that he would have gotten physical with Rice if he was one of his players.
“I would have smacked the hell out of him,” Bryant said. “No question about it. No question about it. Probably wouldn’t have been the best way to react to it, but that’s the way I would react to it.
“I think everybody was trying to do the right thing by kind of just holding their tongue and not saying anything. That’s abusive, man. You can’t take that form of abuse. That’s crazy. My parents didn’t do nothing like that to me.”
Rome then reminded Kobe that some Rice’s players were only 18 years old and asked if he feels he would have reacted by smacking the coach when he was that age.
“No question,” Kobe answered. “Just a year later I was going at it with Shaq. You think I’m gonna let a coach throw a ball at my head? Not a chance. The only (person) who had the license to hit me was my mom with a belt. That was it.”
In a way, this is kind of Kobe’s thing. He had some similar comments last month when asked about the whole situation with Serge Ibaka chopping Blake Griffin in the groin. When you’re playing under a full scholarship and your college career depends on it, sometimes it can be difficult to stand up to a coach like Rice. Plenty of people share Kobe’s opinion, but those people have no way of actually knowing what they would have done since they weren’t there.
H/T TMZ SportsGoogle+