LA Laker superstar Kobe Bryant was interviewed recently on Showtime’s Jim Rome Series. In the interview, the 6’6″ basketball star was asked how he would’ve responded to the kind of abuse former Rutgers’ coach Jim Rice was seen inflicting on his team.
Bryant did not mince any words when he that he would have “smacked the hell” out of Coach Rice.
Bryant said that while there may have been better ways to deal with the abuse than retaliating, he would still have gotten physical with Rice. Bryant’s comment is likely more than mere bravado.
Bryant went from high school straight into the NBA. Bryant said that as an 18-year-old he was facing off with much stronger men such as Shaquille O’Neal. Bryant said only one person had a license to strike him and that was his mother which she did – with a belt. Jim Rice served as Rutgers University basketball head coach for three years until he was recently fired.
A video surfaced this past December showing the coach verbally and physically abusing players during practice. At the time, the school’s Athletic Director Tim Pernetti chose to discipline Rice but not fire him. However, after ESPN aired the tape last week, Rice was fired and Pernetti resigned for not terminating the coach.
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Kobe Bryant: ‘I would have smacked the hell out of’ Rutgers coach Mike Rice