The NBA world is still reeling from losing it’s greatest owner, Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who died on Monday after a long battle with cancer. The Lakers returned home for the first time since Buss’ passing and the night was as emotional as was expected. Kobe Bryant came out before the game and lead the Staples Center in a touching tribute to one of the greatest owners in professional sports history.
“On Monday we lost what we all know to be the greatest owner in sports, ever,” Bryant said, the lights dimmed and the crowd silent. “He was a brilliant, incredible owner, but he was even a better person with a great heart. His vision transcended the game, and we are all spoiled by his vision and by his drive to win year after year after year.”
Bryant’s speech came before the Lakers did battle with the Boston Celtics, which couldn’t have been a more fitting game to see Buss off. No rivalry greater personified the legend of Jerry Buss as the Lakers-Celtics rivalry was one of the best ever to be constructed and it’s thanks in large part to Buss.
“Through our years being here at Staples Center, the one thing we could always count on was the great Jerry Buss overlooking his franchise from his box. I’d like to ask all of you to please join us in a moment of silence to honor the great Dr. Jerry Buss.”
Buss’ two children Jeanie and Jim are now the sole owners of the Lakers and are the ones who are taking it over after his death. But while a new era begins in Lakers history, the imprint that Jerry Buss left is absolutely undeniable. There was only a moment of silence to remember Buss but there isn’t enough time left on earth to fully justify the true importance of Buss to the Lakers corporation that exists today.