There was a time when Kobe Bryant told Dr. Jerry Buss that he wanted him to get the recognition he deserved at center court, according to what YouWager fans recall.
Yesterday, Bryant helped deliver some of that recognition to the Los Angeles Lakers owner posthumously, as he addressed the Staples Center crowd during a moving tribute to Buss before the Lakers played their longtime rival Boston Celtics.
Bryant stopped and pointed out to Buss’ luxury box that was empty, with a spotlight shining on the owner’s seat in the middle of the box throughout the night.
The Lakers point guard then asked the crowd to recognize Buss with a moment of silence that lasted 20 seconds. Right thereafter audio was played from a Buss interview recorded Feb. 16, 2011.
Bryant’s speech was then followed by a video tribute played to the tune of Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” that showed photos of Buss as a baby through his years as the Los Angeles team owner, hoisting multiple Larry O’Brien NBA championship trophies and getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame while flashing his signature smile.
Jeanie Buss, Buss’ daughter, the Lakers’ executive vice president of player personnel, stood by her first row seat for the ceremony. She was joined by former Lakers forward Kurt Rambis and his wife, Linda.
The Utah native will also be honored with a private memorial service at 3 p.m. Today at at the Nokia Theatre in downtown L.A. Among the speakers expected to eulogize Buss there will be Bryant, Magic Johnson, Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pau Gasol, James Worthy, Jerry West and David Stern.