Jerry Buss Remembered at Private Memorial
LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Dr. Jerry Buss will be buried in a private service on Friday, following a memorial on Thursday at Nokia Theatre.
Friends, family, colleagues and fans gathered in downtown Los Angeles to mourn the passing of the longtime Lakers owner.
Lakers legends from Jerry West to Magic Johnson to Shaquielle O’Neal and Kobe Bryant talked about the impact Buss had on their lives.
“When I wanted an extension, he gave it to me,” Shaq remarked. “When I wanted a second extension, he gave it to me.”
“When I wanted a third extension, he traded me,” the big man deadpanned.
“Jerry embraced life with the same enthusiasm and energy that Magic embraced me when we beat the Clippers in his first NBA game,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said.
“Look at the greatness of one man’s vision,” Bryant remarked. “Look at all the players that are here, the coaches that are here.”
“We all have one thing in common, is that we all believed in Dr. Jerry Buss,” he said.
Magic Johnson spoke about Buss as a father figure.
“What he would do was put me in business situations — and I didn’t know he was doing that — to get me ready for life after basketball,” he said.
In a moving moment, Johnson asked all the Lakers in the room to stand up.
He then asked everyone inside the theater to get on their feet and make an “L” with their hands in honor of Buss.
Buss died on Monday from kidney failure after an 18-month battle with cancer. He was 80 years old.