Catching the Buss to the Hall of Fame

To say Jerry Buss deserved his seat in the Hall of Fame is an understatement. You could argue he is the secret key to the dynasty in Los Angeles. No one owner has had a bigger impact on his team than he has had with the Lakers. Unlike what you would get with the flamboyant personalities of Mark Cuban or Al Davis, while I watched Jerry’s enshrinement speech, I noticed the air of modesty.

Phil Jackson and Dr. Jerry Buss at a Los Angeles Lakers victory party hosted by owner Dr. Jerry Buss and coach Phil Jackson at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, Ca. Sunday, June 16, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect.

While other owners (Donald Sterling of the Los Angeles Junior Varsity team) battle reputations in court and in media, Jerry Buss owns a sparkling reputation with the fans, his employees and his players. He took the time to marvel about all the players and coaches he had the oppurtunity to work with, sharing his moment with all those who had helped make it happen.

He mentioned his cup “runneth over” with the chance of having Shaquille O’Neal, Phil Jackson and young phenom Kobe Bryant dominate the NBA in their first years together. In his ownership, many of his players and staff have consistantly attested to the respect he shows them in his daily business.

He never once expected to be enshrined with the legends one day, but the attitude with which he accepted the honor is just a single example of why he is not only the greatest owner in sports, but one of the greatest human beings in the game today. With every year that passes he puts in the hardest work and watches the benefits come forth.

Fans must forever remember his willigness to spend the money to bring our beloved players into the fold, and his ability to orchestrate historic teams that claimed the league’s biggest prize year after year. Dr. Buss is on a short list of owners who put so much work, time, effort and money into their team while consistantly yeilding results.

His success is one that cannot be simply measured by numbers, but by his impact on the league and the sport. These reasons are why Dr. Buss will be forever embedded in the game of basketball, the city of Los Angeles and now, in the Hall of Fame.

One of Dr. Buss’ best qualities is his undying love for the Lakers. Every year he is just as confident in their chances of reaching the biggest stage again. Before making his speech, Buss was asked which Laker team was the best in his 31 seasons. He replied, “It’s hard to say. To tell you the truth, I think it may be the one coming up.”

Next: An Everlasting Legacy

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