NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mike Rice was fired last week after a video of the Rutgers coach behaving very, very badly at practice became public.
In the video, Rice was seen verbally and physically abusing his players, throwing basketballs and hurling gay slurs at them.
Let’s just say Kobe Bryant wouldn’t have put up with it. Any of it. At all.
“I would’ve smacked the hell out of him. No question about it,” the Los Angeles Lakers star said in a Showtime interview with Jim Rome. “It probably wouldn’t have been the best way to react to it, but that’s how I would’ve reacted to it.”
Rice was fired Wednesday. Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti submitted his resignation Friday amid heavy criticism from alumni, lawmakers and the public at large.
The video was edited and brought to Pernetti last fall by a former Rutgers employee, Eric Murdock. School officials in December decided to suspend Rice three games and fine him close to $75,000.
Bryant said Rice’s players were “trying to do the right thing by kind of just holding your tongue and not saying anything.”
“That’s abusive, man. You can’t take that form of abuse,” he said. “That’s crazy. My parents didn’t do nothing like that to me.”
Bryant, who was drafted straight out of high school, insisted that as an 18-year-old, he would have been quick to retaliate against an abusive coach.
“No question,” Bryant said. “Just a year later I was going at it with Shaq. You think I’m going to let a coach throw a ball at my head? Not a chance. Not a chance, man. The only people that had a license to hit me was my mom with a belt.”
The full interview will air Wednesday night on Showtime.
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