Before you can fully digest this Laker title, we want you worrying about it all blowing up


The cover of this week’s June 28 Sports Illustrated will have Kobe Bryant — he of the five-time NBA championships and two-time NBA Finals MVP awards — having to answer the question: What’s next?

Bryant, making his 15th appearance on the SI cover (tied for 10th most of all time, for what that’s worth), needs Phil Jackson if he wants a sixth ring and a three-peat, senior writer Lee Jenkins writes.

“As the clock ticked down on (Game 7), every Laker stood except Jackson. Finally, he rose and ambled to midcourt, exchanging a few embraces. Usually when a coach wins a title he can’t get an inch of personal space. But the 64-year-old Jackson stood alone for a solid 10 seconds, staring into the upper bowl, savoring what he had wrought. He recognizes, even after 11 of these things, that each one could be his last. Jackson has said that he’ll decide this week whether to return to the Lakers. ‘I think this is it,’ (daughter) Chelsea says. ‘I think he’s done now.’ ”

Jackson also tells Jenkins:

“I’m reticent to use this analysis, but you talk to guys who come back from the war and they miss being in the war. They go back and re-enlist because they miss that total immersion of life.”

Also: The issue includes a story by Selena Roberts on Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, which asks him about his knowledge of what brought down USC’s football program before he left it:

“Listen, what we know now is different from what we knew then. Reggie Bush wasn’t Reggie Bush when he was a sophomore (in 2004). Now you look back — the second pick in the draft, a Super Bowl champion — but he was competing for a job as a sophomore. People ask, ‘Why wouldn’t you have known this or that; why didn’t you anticipate this or foresee that?’ He wasn’t that Reggie Bush then.”

OK with that answer?

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