SI Vault
Richard Deitsch
November 04, 2002
Recently enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame and the executive producer of the current film Brown Sugar, the immortal Laker now prepares to join Charles Barkley & Co. on Thursday nights as an NBA studio analyst for TNT.
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November 04, 2002

Q+a [magic Johnson]

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Johnson: Michael fundamentally was so sound and was physically so much stronger man everybody else that right now Kobe is not there yet. It may take him a year or two, but right now, no.

SI: What would have happened if one of your players had tried to choke you while you were an NBA coach?

Johnson: He'd probably still be lying in a hospital.

SI: Would you ever coach in the NBA again?

Johnson: No. You don't have to worry about that.

SI: Your Showtime Lakers trail the Shaq-Kobe Lakers by one with 10 seconds left. What play do you call?

Johnson: I call a Fist Up, which is a clear-out for Kareem and myself. Then I decide: If Kareem has great position, I throw it to him. If he's not open, then I take it one-on-one myself.

SI: So that means you're taking it one-on-one against Derek Fisher. I think I like your chances.

Johnson: [Laughs.] Yeah, exactly.

SI: Is there any person on earth whom you'd like to meet that you haven't already met?

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