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Kobe Bryant on Mike Rice: “I would have smacked the hell out of him”

Apr 10, 2013, 7:55 PM EST

Kobe Bryant‘s reaction here on the Jim Rome show on Showtime was pretty typical of players in the NBA after watching the video of now former Rutgers coach Mike Rice — they say they wouldn’t have put up with that.

Some certainly wouldn’t have. Kobe is likely one of those.

But some would have — the college sports dynamic is that the coach has all the power. Not just over playing time but over your scholarship and where you can transfer to if you try to leave. People with power can be abusive. You can bet Mike Rice is not the only college coach acting like this right now.

But I thought Kobe’s tweet referenced by Rome was spot on.

I heard Duke and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski talking this summer about how players now were different. He’s an old military guy — and he runs a strict practice — but his point was that players today want to know why they are asked to do something. They’re not just going to say “how high” when you ask them to jump, they want the reasoning. Coaches need to build up that trust.

And there’s nothing wrong with that — whether it’s myself with the other writers here at PBT; my bosses with me; virtually every work situation out there explaining context is a good thing. People are more likely to buy in and work hard if they know why, if they get a glimpse of the big picture. The smart coaches have learned that. Kobe learned the most from a very, very smart coach.

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