Put your hands on Kobe Bryant ... he's gonna put a beatdown on you -- even if you're his coach.
During an interview with Jim Rome ... Kobe reacted to the infamous video of now-fired Rutgers coach Mike Rice getting physical with his players, saying if he was on that team ... "I woulda smacked the hell out of him. No question about it."
It's interesting since Kobe never played college hoops -- going straight from high school to the NBA -- but he points out that as an 18-year-old he didn't take crap from Shaquille O'Neal ... so why would he take it from a coach.
There is one person Kobe will let smack him around ... check out the clip.
The full interview airs tonight on Showtime at 9 PM (PT and ET).