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?