Kobe Bryant claims he would have smacked Mike Rice if he ever tried his bully tactics on the basketball star. I don't know why, but I believe him.
One of the greatest hypotheticals in sports at the moment comes during an interview on Jim Rome on Showtime.
The host asks the Lakers guard how he would have reacted if he were one of Rice's players. "I would have smacked the hell out of him. No question about it. No question about it," Bryant says.
As a reminder, the subject of this debate is former Rutgers coach Mike Rice and his tactics that served to get him suspended and subsequently fired once video of him launching balls at players and berating his athletes surfaced.
I would also like to remind you that Bryant wouldn't even flinch at a basketball being thrown in his face, because he didn't budge the time Matt Barnes faked a toss at his dome (2:14 mark).
The guy is pure ice, and I don't doubt, even as an amateur athlete, that he would have stood up to his coach. Of course, the star offers that this might not be the brightest thing to do as an amateur athlete.
Rome then asks why no player appeared to fight back after being bullied around practice.
Bryant is at a loss, but offers that the players may have been trying to do the polite and sensible thing in grinning and bearing it. He then sums it up simply: This was abuse.
Rice was in a position of ultimate power and exploited it. Thankfully, players like Bryant are coming forward to blast such tactics for what they really are—deplorable and destructive.
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