The legendary owner guided his Lakers to 10 NBA Championships during his Hall of Fame tenure. He oversaw the "Showtime" Lakers teams of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy, then the dynamic pairings of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal and later Bryant and Pau Gasol.
The team honored Buss before Wednesday night's game with its longtime rivals, the Boston Celtics. Kobe Bryant addressed the Staples Center crowd, calling Buss "a brilliant and incredible owner," before asking the crowd for a moment of silence in Buss' remembrance (via Cindy Boren of The Washington Post).
The Lakers then honored Buss with a spirited showing in their dismantling of the Celtics. L.A. jumped out to a nine-point lead after the first quarter and cruised to a 113-99 win.
On the white board in Lakers' locker room. Lakers 113, Celtics 99. twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan…— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) February 21, 2013
Those same feelings of appreciation in the face of mourning carried over to Thursday's memorial service at the Nokia Theater. A slew of Lakers legends graced the stage (lined with all 10 of the team's championship trophies won under Buss) to celebrate the life of a man they praised as an extraordinary businessman, and better family man (via CBSSports.com).
Buss' life story is too unbelievable for a Hollywood script. He lived the true American dream, rising from the lowest depths of poverty to become owner of one of the most prodigious teams in professional sports, a status made attainable by its visionary owner.
Buss is lost in physical form, but his legacy lives on.
His accomplishments in the business and sports worlds are remarkable. But tributes like this one show how cherished and impactful he was as a human being.