Lakers' Jeanie Buss Explains Reasoning Behind Cryptic Kobe Bryant Tweet

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 14, 2022

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Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss addressed her polarizing tweet about Kobe Bryant earlier this month, denying it had any relation to LeBron James.

Buss spoke at length about the tweet to Mark Medina of NBA.com:

"We're getting ready to start promoting our 10-part docuseries on Hulu and we're immersed in all things Lakers. There are so many people I miss. But the person I miss the most is Kobe. We miss his voice, his friendship and everything that was taken away from us when we lost him. What I know is Laker fans feel the same way I do.

"So when I feel down like that, I know when I say something, the response that I get makes me feel not alone. That’s how a community comes together to grieve. This grieving process with losing Kobe will go on for the rest of my life. It's a void that can never be filled and was never expected.

"When Phil [Jackson] left to go to the Knicks, the NBA made us sign a letter because we're on two different teams. He said, 'This means I can't help you anymore. But you always have Kobe. Kobe has your back. Talk to him if you ever need advice. You'll always have Kobe.' That's what Phil said to me. So, the idea that we don't always have Kobe is hard to accept."

The Lakers' controlling owner riled up NBA Twitter with a tweet in the early hours of July 4, saying Bryant would have been able to "explain everything that I’m not allowed to."

Jeanie Buss @JeanieBuss

I miss KB. He would understand and explain everything that I’m not allowed to. Honestly he was the greatest Laker ever. He understood team over self. Meaning your rewards would come if you valued team goals over your own then everything would fall into place. All can reply.

Many took the tweet as a cryptic shot at James following the Lakers' tumultuous 2021-22 season. Buss denied her tweet had anything to do with James.

"No. It was that my heart was full of sadness," Buss said. "You look to people surrounding you that feel the same way to commiserate. That's all it was. It wasn't intended as anything other than I had sorrow in my heart and I was trying to lighten my load."

Bryant was one of nine people killed in a January 2020 helicopter crash that also killed his daughter, Gianna. The Lakers dedicated their season and subsequent championship run to Bryant after his death.

Bryant and Buss' father, Dr. Jerry Buss, shared a close relationship until Jerry Buss' death in 2013. Jeanie Buss and Bryant remained close as well, with the former Lakers guard continuing to have a voice behind the scenes after his 2016 retirement.

Buss says the team plans to erect a statue of Bryant outside Crypto.com Arena at some point, but no timetable has been set for the honor.


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