Jerry Buss' memorial was a who's who of post-'70s LA Laker-lore. Jerry's oldest son Johnny, future son-in-law Phil Jackson, Kareem, Magic, Shaq and Kobe shared memories and anecdotes of the iconic team owner. All in all, Buss won't be remembered as just a great owner. He was a visionary.
Here are a few of the highlights:
Magic Johnson considers Buss to be a second father. Jerry, who sat behind Magic at the infamous press conference in which he announced his HIV diagnosis, was the first person who called when he bought the Dodgers last year.
Shaquille O'Neal added levity by recounting how Buss was responsible for trading him during the summer of '04.
'He gave me everything I wanted,' O'Neal said of Buss. 'I wanted one extension, he gave it to me. I wanted a second extension, he gave it to me. I wanted a third extension, he traded me.'
Six years ago, when an impatient Kobe Bryant was attempting to force his way out of the organization, Buss dished advice that could also apply to Kupchak's handling of Dwight Howard prior to yesterday's trade deadline.
“During that fall, when things got a little bit testy, we had many meetings,” Jackson said. “During one of those meetings, Dr. Buss said to Kobe, ‘If I had a diamond of great value, four or five carats, would I give up that diamond for four diamonds of one karat? No. There’s no equal value that we can get for you.’