Every week, our staff writers chime in on the trending topics, rumors and storylines surrounding the Lakers. In today’s State of the Nation, they reflect back on the passing of Lakers’ owner, and Los Angeles icon, Jerry Buss, and look ahead at what’s in store for the Lakers after the All-Star break.
With the recent passing of the Lakers’ late, great owner Dr. Jerry Buss, what will you remember most about him?
John Gaffer // @jewelslamo:
When I think of Dr. Buss, I will always think of championships. He spared no expense when it came to making the Lakers better. Whether it was bringing in the marquee players or spending the money to get the high profile coaches, Dr. Buss did whatever it took to make sure his team was always competing for a championship. And the best thing of all was that he let the basketball people make the basketball decisions, while he stuck to the business side of it. The guy truly loved his Lakers.
Felipe Amaral // @F_Amaral:
His life commitment to not only building basketball greatness, but also creating a culture out of the Los Angeles Lakers. Thanks to Dr. Buss, the Purple and Gold are known throughout the whole world as representatives of success, glamor and excellence.
Alex Lambeth // @AlexLambeth:
His passion. Not only was he passionate about his Lakers, but also about the city of Los Angeles and most importantly, the fans. Dr. Buss did everything he could to make sure his team had the best possible chance to win the title each and every year. Most importantly, Dr. Buss would go above and beyond his duties as an owner to ensure that the Lakers’ “brand” was always top-notch. RIP Dr. Buss.
Oren Levy // @LakersOren:
Dr. Buss is the reason I fell in love with the Lakers. He built the Lakers culture of going after, and expecting, a title every year. He always spent all that was necessary to win, and spent it wisely. Exercising patience, while not buying into the myth that you need to “rebuild” from time to time, Dr. Buss kept the Lakers competitive. He taught me, and the entire city, basketball. Not just on the court, but team building as well. The man gave Laker fans confidence to expect greatness, and showed us basketball at the highest level. “In Buss we Trust” really says it all.
Garrett Garcia // @GarrettGarcia:
I’ll remember the great Dr. Buss for his work ethic and his personal drive to be the best. My favorite basketball player of all time is Kobe Bryant, and he has the same type of determination and will power as Dr. Buss. This type of personality is one to look up to and to try and model oneself after. His drive to win and succeed was so influential to anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. The man was a gentlemen and a scholar and he shall be forever esteemed as one.
Melvin Taylor // @MelvinTaylorII:
I will remember his fandom most of all. He was one of the few owners who cared less about making money, and more about winning and bringing the city of Los Angeles, and Laker fans across the world, joy and happiness. Oh, and titles. He also had the wisdom to put people in the right places. He did not hire, or draft, just anyone. Dr. Buss had the uncanny ability to see success within someone when no else did, a big reason why his risks paid off. Let’s be honest, would you have traded Vlade Divac in 96′ for Kobe? Really?
James Cypert // @JamesCypert:
I’ll always remember that Dr. Jerry Buss had a way of making you feel blessed as a Lakers fan. Nothing was ever impossible when it came to personnel moves or the future of the franchise, whether it be signing free agent superstars (Shaq, Nash), trading for future Hall-of-Famers (Abdul-Jabbar, Gasol), or drafting once in a generation talent (Magic, Bryant). Dr. Buss’s time with the Lakers was truly an astonishing run – one that made Lakers fans admittedly spoiled by the dream-like pace of championships that Dr. Buss brought to the franchise and to the city of Los Angeles. Lakers fans always expected greatness because that was what Dr. Buss worked to deliver every year, and we were blessed as fans to have such an owner impacting not only the Lakers but the success of NBA as well.
Bummi Anderson // @BummiNAnderson:
What I will remember the most about Dr. Buss is he was always willing to win at any cost for Lakers’ fans.
Anna Gonda // @AnnaLBG:
I read an article a few years ago that said the best advice that Jerry Buss ever gave to his children was for them to hire the best people for the job, and then get out of their way. For someone who has done so much for the Lakers, for the city of Los Angeles and for the NBA, Dr. Buss has managed to stay away from limelight, only joining in on the occasional Championship celebrations, because he chose to remain behind the scenes. Some owners in the league are either too involved or not involved with the team at all, but GM Mitch Kupchak and Jimmy Buss have noted how often they speak to Dr. Buss before making decisions.
Robert Benitez // @Beeb0:
I will always remember him as the man who would do anything to win a championship. I grew up hearing how the Lakers always were always over the luxury tax but Buss didn’t care because they won. He was the guy that put winning above all else. That’s how I’ll remember him.
Next Question: At 25-29 and with 28 games remaining, what record will it take for the Lakers to make the playoffs?