Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who died on Monday, was as much a part of the team's "Showtime" atmosphere as the star power on the floor and in the sideline seats. The Lakers were already a successful franchise when Buss, a real estate developer with a doctorate in chemistry, purchased the team. But under Buss, the Lakers became a dynasty, winning 10 NBA titles during his ownership. Current and former NBA players, fellow owners and others paid tribute to Buss and his legacy, on Twitter and elsewhere.
Note: Twitter times are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is five hours ahead of Eastern time.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family & friends of Dr. Jerry Buss. He was a great man and an incredible friend.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) February 18, 2013
I'm deeply saddened over da loss of the great Dr. Jerry Buss.He was a dear friend, mentor,and brilliant business mind thank u4 8 gr8 yrs— SHAQ (@SHAQ) February 18, 2013
Today is a very sad day for all the Lakers and basketball. All my support and condolences to the Buss family. Rest in peace Dr. Buss.— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) February 18, 2013
Condolences to the Buss family. Dr Buss was not only the greatest sports owner, but a true friend & just a really cool guy. Loved him dearly— James Worthy (@James_Worthy42) February 18, 2013
He forever changed my life. May he rest in peace and my prayers are with his family that he loved so much. #RIPDrBuss— DerekFisher (@derekfisher) February 18, 2013
R.I.P Dr. Buss you were a giant in the industry, and was always there to help and give advice. Your kindness and spirit will be missed!— Isiah Thomas (@iamisiahthomas) February 18, 2013
RIP Jerry Buss.Your encouragement and support along with your stories of staying true to yourself had an enormous impact on me.— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) February 18, 2013
Huge loss for the @nba and the basketball world. RIP Jerry Buss.— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) February 18, 2013
Dr. Jerry buss, I will forever be grateful and appreciate all the support you gave me throughout my career. R.I.P.— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) February 18, 2013
Hall of Fame former Lakers coach Pat Riley: "We have lost a true giant. Jerry Buss was more than just an owner. He was one of the great innovators that any sport has ever encountered. He was a true visionary and it was obvious with the Lakers in the 80's that 'Showtime' was more than just Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It was really the vision of a man who saw something that connected with a community. I was privileged to be part of that for 10 years and even more grateful for the friendship that has lasted all these many years. I have always come to realize that if it weren't for Dr. Buss, I wouldn't be where I am today. He was a great friend and will be missed."
Hall of Fame Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: "When someone as celebrated and charismatic as Jerry Buss dies, we are reminded of two things. First, just how much one person with vision and strength of will can accomplish. Second, how fragile each of us is, regardless of how powerful we were. Those two things combine to inspire us to reach for the stars, but also to remain with our feet firmly on the ground among our loved ones. Dr. Buss embodied that compassionate entrepreneurial spirit. He strove to reach greater heights without forgetting his community roots. During his stewardship, the Lakers exemplified his personal standards of excellence and became one of the dominant teams in the NBA and a force of good within the community. The man may be gone, but he has made us all better people for knowing him."
Hall of Fame Lakers guard and ex-Lakers GM Jerry West: "Jerry was always supportive of the many tough decisions that were made during our time together. I will particularly remember fondly our walks together during training camps, which were some of the highlights of my time working with him and the Lakers. I was blessed to have the opportunity to work for him and I will miss him dearly. We lost a great man today and a legend in our business."
NBA Commissioner David Stern: "The NBA has lost a visionary owner whose influence on our league is incalculable and will be felt for decades to come. More importantly, we have lost a dear and valued friend."