Lakers News: Kobe Bryant Reveals He Taunts Rip Hamilton During NCAA Tournament

Lakers News: Kobe Bryant Reveals He Taunts Rip Hamilton During NCAA Tournament

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Kobe Bryant will forever go down as one of the greatest players to ever step foot in the NBA. Kobe also joined the league straight out of high school, meaning he never got the college experience that many of his peers did.

Where Kobe would go to college has long been a topic of discussion as it has switched between Duke and North Carolina over the years. Most recently, Kobe said it would’ve been Duke because Coach K continued to recruit him while UNC coach Dean Smith let up when it became clear Kobe would likely jump to the NBA.

Missing out on college isn’t something Kobe has discussed much. However, he revealed on Holding Court with Geno Auriemma that while he normally doesn’t miss not going to college, the NCAA Tournament, aka March Madness, brings something out of him, and inspires some trash talk to that year’s National Champion, Richard Hamilton:

“I only miss it when the tournament time comes around and I see Richard Hamilton, they’ll show clips of him winning and stuff like that. I just feel compelled to text Rip and say, ‘You know, you only won because I didn’t go to college?’ That’s when I miss it. I just miss the competitive bantering that could’ve taken place.”

This is an interesting thought as Hamilton and UConn didn’t win the National Championship until 1999, meaning Kobe would have had to remain in college for three seasons.

Had he done so, he would’ve been part of a stacked Duke team with Elton Brand and Trajan Langdon that tied the record for most wins in a season NCAA History (37). Who knows how many more they could’ve gotten with Kobe in the lineup.

The fact that Kobe even thinks about texting something like that to Hamilton shows the kind of competitor he is and the things that go through his mind. In all likelihood Hamilton has responded with mention of the 2004 Finals, when the Detroit Pistons upset the Lakers.