Jerry Buss was remembered fondly by those who knew him best on Thursday during a memorial service held at LA’s Nokia Theatre. Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Phil Jackson and more celebrated Buss’ life by sharing memories with the crowd of mourners in attendance. Go through the slides to see each video.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Magic Johnson considered himself to be the adopted son of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss. Shaquille O’Neal hailed Buss for his foresight, while Kobe Bryant cited Buss’ ability to convince people to believe in him. Jerry West remembered a party-loving Buss who never went to bed, making it easy to be the first one at work in the morning.
They were among the basketball greats gathered Thursday at an invitation-only memorial service to salute the life and legacy of Buss, who died this week at 80 after an 18-month struggle with cancer.
The stage at the Nokia Theatre across from Staples Center was bedecked with all 10 of the NBA championship trophies won by the Lakers under Buss and more than 30 floral arrangements. Photos of Buss throughout his life flashed on a video screen.
Johnson punctuated the 1 1/2-hour service by getting the audience on its feet, clapping and cheering for Buss. “He didn’t like it sad, he wanted it to be fun,” Johnson said.