Video: Lakers, Kobe Bryant honor owner Jerry Buss at Staples Center
By Ben Golliver
The Lakers and All-Star guard Kobe Bryant honored longtime owner Jerry Buss before taking the court for their first game following his death.
Prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Celtics at the Staples Center, the Lakers held a brief video tribute for Buss, who owned the team since 1979 and oversaw 10 championship teams before his death on Monday at the age of 80.
Bryant then took a microphone at center court to address the crowd.
“On Monday, we lost who we all know to be the greatest owner in sports. Ever. He was a brilliant and incredible owner but he was even a better person, with a great heart. His vision has transcended the game and we are all — all — spoiled by his vision and by his drive to win year after year after year.
“Through our years, being here at Staples Center, the one thing that we could always count on was the great Dr. 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.”
A spotlight was then pointed on Buss’ seat in his box as the arena went dark so that the crowd could observe a moment of silence. A recording of Buss’ voice followed over the arena’s public address system.
“The real purpose of what I do was to try to have this city totally involved and identified with it,” Buss said. “I wanted that, when you think L.A., ‘Oh, wait, that’s where the Lakers play. Lakers. Lakers.’ That’s what I wanted.”
The Lakers also wore “JB” patches to honor Buss on the right shoulders of their jerseys.