When news broke that Lakers’ beloved owner Dr. Jerry Buss was in the hospital, battling cancer, every Lakers fan instantly felt somber. Dr. Buss has built and sustained a connection with the fans, players and coaches that not many professional sports owners can create.
“Out of respect, they obviously don’t want us saying too much about it,” Bryant said. “But I think we all feel the same as far as his health goes and trying to maintain a positive outlook.”
He’s extremely extremely intelligent and extremely patient,” Bryant said. “He’ll sit and wait. He has his goals. He knows exactly what he wants to do and how he wants to construct a ballclub. He’s extremely smart about going about it. It’s very rare to find that kind of owner who can seemingly not make any mistakes. It’s pretty impressive.”
“Think about the impact that he’s had on the game and the decisions he’s made and the brand of basketball he brought here with Showtime and the impact that had on the sport as a whole,” Bryant said. “Those vibrations were felt to a kid all the way in Italy who was six years old. before basketball was even global. His impact is felt worldwide.”
Dr. Buss bought the Lakers back in 1979, along with the Forum, the LA Kings and a 13,000-acre ranch in Kern County, from Jack Kent Cooke for $67 million. Ten championships, countless memories and numerous Hall of Fame inductees later, Buss has turned that $67 million purchase into a $1 billion organization.