Lakers Now

Round-the-Clock Purple and Gold

« Previous Post | Lakers Now Home | Next Post »

Sharing your thoughts about Jerry Buss and writing his Hall of Fame speech


Many of the posts on Friday in the L.A. Times Lakers blog will be about Lakers owner Jerry Buss getting inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. I'll take a look at how he helped make the Lakers what they are today, have links to everything else written about the event, and host a live chat during the induction beginning at 3:45 p.m. (red carpet arrivals start at 3 p.m., followed by the induction ceremony from 4 to 6 p.m. on NBA TV). But Friday's posts will also involve the faithful readers of this blog.

I've been asking for your participation a lot the past two weeks, partly because these are the dog days of the NBA off-season but also because there are plenty of topics that spark reaction. Buss' Hall of Fame induction surely serves as one of those moments. This post fills two purposes: giving everyone a chance to reflect on their favorite memories involving the Lakers owner and letting them imagine what they would say if they were writing Buss' Hall of Fame acceptance speech. I'll feature the best comments on Friday afternoon before the ceremonies begin.

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photo: Lakers owner Jerry Buss will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday in Springfield, Mass. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times.

Comments () | Archives (45)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Did you all know that blog god MM's old nickname was Butterfly? Let;s bring it back!

@ D J Wags
Our blog god is named butterfly?

My favorite memory of Jerry Buss was when he sided with Magic and fired Paul Westhead. He placed Chick Hearn's side kick color commentator as the new Coach, Pat Riley who got in return a Championship on autopilot coaching in 1981-82 season.

My favorite Buss moment was when he decided to trade Snaq. Yep, I said it... but you were thinking it!


My favorite thing was when he televised the games and let us watch them on cable. That really created a following for the Lakers.

And of course, made my life more complete.....

Not a word here so far about Matt Barnes' dustup in San Francisco last night. They were talking about it this afternoon on 710ESPN. Some assistant coach in a pickup summer league game got in Barnes' face with some wisecracks and Barnes hit the guy.
Not a good move by a guy looking to make a championship team his home.
Posted by: Rick Friedman | August 12, 2010 at 08:47 PM
Rick - thanks for the heads up. Here's an write up on the incident.

I'd like to be humble but, dang, I take full credit for starting his nomination. In this blog anyway.

Like DBDH (I can't believe it), I too consider trading Shraq my favorite Dr. Buss moment.

Shraq (The Big Monolith): "Show Me The Money MF'r" directed at Dr. Buss courtside in Hawaii...

Dr. Buss: "No, I Think I'll Show Your Big Arse The Door! Don't Let It Hit You On The Way Out!!!"






Best memory of Buss...When he signed Magic to 25 year contract for 25 million. It was unheard of at the time, but Dr. Buss was showing his commitment to winning. 10 titles in 30 years is beyond comprehension. Yet his thrist for more hardware is as strong as ever as witnessed by paying excessive luxury tax to sign LO in 2009 and Fish, Blake and Shannon this summer; and agreeing to carry 14 players..

Yes, Dr. Buss spends the necessary money to have a great team, but he also hires competent people and let them do their job. I also appreciate Dr. Buss because unlike a lot of big spending owners (Jerry Jones, Mark Cuban) he realizes that he's not the show - - but the players are.

Great to see our rookies signed. I had the same thought as some others regarding Walton's health being connected with Ebanks' contract. At the end of the day $450K isn't going to break the bank though, and if he does well my bet is that he makes the team regardless of whether or not Walton is a go.
Regarding Dr. Buss; you are the best owner in the history of the game and through your vision ensured that there will continue to be a game. You have always done right by the team and put the best players out on the court, even if it hurt your pocket book. You have brought tremendous joy to and have instilled great pride in multiple generations of fans.
I have been saddened the last couple of years as you have taken more of a back seat to your son, who I thought was kind of slow. I feared that we would be in for some hard times when you finally called it quits. My opinion has changed though and I now see that Jim has played a huge role in bringing incredible players into the fold to contend for future titles. I think that Jim is quite rather than slow and like you, not caught up in taking credit for his accomplishments. Thank you for everything, not the least of which is keeping the torch bright as you pass it to the next generation.


but still more work to be done by kupchak... one final piece to complete his masterpiece.

now if he can somehow get rid of luke and avenge the ALL TIME worst contract of his GM career than his jersey deserves to hang from the staples rafters..

maybe lakers can trade luke for a new washing machine? why not it worked in semi-pro for will ferrell... the question though becomes is luke really worth a washing machine? probably not. nevermind.

Gotta love everything Dr Buss has done for the franchise.


Congratulations Dr. definitely deserve to go into the NBA Hall of Fame...

All your innovative ideas, commitment to winning, and aggressive spending for the best talent, has made the Lakers the best franchise in the league...

As a loyal fan, I thank you for the exciting, memorable, and historic Laker moment you have provided...

The Lakers are one of the bright spots in people lives, in these times of struggle...

God Bless you....

Dating more 18 year old girls than Hefner is his most impressive feat. Trading Snaq and re-signing Kobe were pretty good decisions too though.

It is really difficult to write anything about Jerry Buss in such a limit paragraph. I remember seeing him here in Bakersfield Robobank for the pre-season lakers games two year in a row. You would think the owner would a least seat next to the team or court side . Wrong? He's seating at a regular seating like me and you. I approached him for an autograph and thanks him for bringing the Lakers in town. When I see him in person, I can tell right away that he put the team first in term of winning and the fans second. He is just a winner and the best owner in sport history. no doubt......

Jerry Buss is simply the GREATEST OWNER IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS!!! Go Lake Show!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope he buys the Dodgers.....They suck right now.


Thanks for the link. From that report it looks like Mariotti and Jalen Rose made a bigger deal out of it than it really was.

Jerry Buss' greatest achievement might just be Jeanie, who appears to have kept Phil in the fold longer than he might have otherwise.


Sorry I missed your link to the Barnes story in the morning thread. Was gone for the day (meetings, meetings) and missed it.

G in DC,

Try and get the "Iron Monkey" that Quintin Tarantino remastered. He re-did the voices and he gives a really, really nice inrto to the film that talks about his love for all things kung fu and Woo Ping's choreography.

"Iron Monkey" was the first modern kung fu film that I really stopped and told myself that the genra may be OK in it's modern reincarnate. I really love the move, and the scene where the doctor's girlfriend cleans up the floating papers is my single favorite kung fu choreography of all time. I love it's simplicity and non violence, though I also love violence in my kung fu. Check it out. Start at the 3:20 mark where they close up the shop for the night. No one other than Woo Ping does like this:

There's some really good classic kung fu too. Have you seen "Invinclble Armor" with superkicker John Liu and Hwang Jang Lee? They are old skool kung fu and it's absolute finest.

And I love and know my old skool kung fu. '72-'79 baby! That's the golden age with stuff like "Mask of Death," "Enter the Dragon," "The 7 Grandmasters," and so on. I love how "7 grand masters" starts with the guy's retirement party where someone throws a dart w/ a message that reads, "Easy to get the championship, not so easy to get the honor" and thet sends the retiring champion into a bout of madness that leads him across all of China to fight all the grandmasters to prove he's still #1. Those darts can really screw up a good party.


Some more Barkley and LeBron:

"Charles Barkley Rips LeBron, Miami's Big Three as 'Punks'

"I heard about LeBron's little tweet today that he's remembering everybody who said anything bad about him," Barkley said Thursday on ESPN Radio 103.3 FM in Dallas/Fort Worth. "And he said 'everybody.' Well, I want him to make sure that he puts my name on that (list).

"I thought that his little one-hour special was a punk move. I thought them dancing around on the stage was a punk move, and I thought he should've stayed in Cleveland. Him joining Dwyane Wade's team was very disappointing to me."

Barkley spoke on "Galloway and Company," hosted by Randy Galloway, Ian Fitzsimmons and Matt Mosley. Barkley referred to a Twitter post by James -- under the name King James -- in which he said: "Don't think for one min that I haven't been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!"

In addition to the TV special, Barkley also weighed in on a rally at American Airlines Arena where James, Chris Bosh and Wade were treated like rock stars and talked about themselves as arguably the greatest trio ever to play in the NBA and future winners of five, six, seven championships.

Galloway and his co-host chuckled at Barkley's remarks, which also appeared on the sports blog, then said they enjoyed the fact Barkley wanted James to include him on his list.

"He's got enough people kissing his ass with his family and all the people who work for him," Barkley said. "We don't have to tell him what he wants to hear all the time. That's one of the reasons why ... some of these young guys ... my opinion is he should have stayed in Cleveland.

"That one-hour special, them jumping around on stage like punks, that wasn't cool to me. From a basketball standpoint, I wish he had stayed in Cleveland, and if he takes that as criticism, so be it.

"He knows where I'll be, I don't run. I'm on TV every week, I'm easy to find."


Edwin, don't you remember the shuffle at the announcing of the head coach to replace Paul Westhead????

from Wikipedia:
"Six games into the 1981–82 season, Magic Johnson said he wished to be traded because he was unhappy playing for Westhead. Shortly afterward, Lakers' owner Jerry Buss fired Westhead. At an ensuing press conference, with Jerry West at his side, Buss named West head coach. West, however, balked, and Buss awkwardly tried to name West as "offensive captain" and then named West and Riley as co-coaches.[6] West made it clear during the press conference that he would only assist Riley, and that Riley was the head coach.[7] Thereafter, Riley was the interim head coach, until his status became permanent."

So Riley became coach because of those jitters that the Logo always had under game coaching pressure. He handed the job off to Riley on the spot, without even telling Buss about it, I believe.

About Laker coaches, Randy Pfund was extremely useless. It's amazing, but he rode Riley's coattails all the way to Miami and probably made a few million during the years as "executive", remember him as Laker coach, he tried that same Pat Riley slick back hair, and upgraded to designer suits. Just made him look silly. No offense, but even his last name was a bit goofy, but looking it up...

"Pfund: German: metonymic occupational name for a sealer of weights, or for a wholesale merchant, from Middle High German pfunt ‘pound’ (as a measure of weight and a unit of currency)."

I guess he found his calling because he became GM for the Heat for all the way till 2008. I wonder why he left.

The Frank Hamblen coaching period was somewhat interesting.... 0.313% Wins...but he was holding down the fort, and was probably the season that led into the summer of "Kobe goes to Pluto"....


You made it through the minefields and saw the mission to completion, well done! I was following in the shadows and have logged the whole experience from beginning to end from your viewpoint. I am trying to decide whether to post it, it's pretty darn long, but it's a funny read.


Best thing Jerry West has done, hard to pick one thing, will have to give that more thought.

Right near the top of the list is, buying the Lakers.



Only as good as your last game, good response!


It's a good morning in Lakerville!

Hey Morning Crew - Wes, Humanomaly, Art

Another great day to be a Laker fan. Rookies signed. Buss into the HOF. Now someone needs to remind Matt Barnes that he needs to chill a little cause as a Laker he in a much higher profile than ever before.


3 words:

Kung Fu Hustle!

Dr. Buss isn't the only one entering the Hall of Fame today. So is Scottie Pippen. The New York Times notes that Phil Jackson has called him "the ultimate team player."

With not one, but two close associates in today's induction ceremony, it seems odd that PJ is skipping the event.

I have to get this off my chest:

If I say that Ebanks is the best rookie ever draft, and you tell me I’m overstating it, I'm giving him a lot of praise, and you say that he’s not as good as I overstate. So I tell you that I can’t possibly overstate it, that means that I’m praising him too much, and it’s still not enough, because he really is that good.

Inversely, if I say that Kobe is a decent player, and you tell me that I’m understating it, and I say that I can’t possibly understate it enough, that means that he’s really not that good, and as much as you bash him, it’s not enough bashing, because he sucks.

I submit to you Kobe’s comments about Fisher (when he resigned):

“his significance to our ballclub and to me cannot be understated”

Kobe obviously meant to say “overstated”, but I think this quote ranks up there with “I’ve won everywhere except college and the pros” by Shaq.

Good morning Lakers crew!

Its Dr. Buss day!

Yo, Dr. Buss, you da man!

aka Scottie,

It's just one of those things that people know what you mean even though it is technically incorrect.
Kinda like when people say they 'could care less'.
They really mean they could not care less, but their meaning is understood either way.
Technically you are correct and I suppose the lovers of proper English appreciate that. But blog speak is often less than perfect so it just comes with the territory.

Dr. Buss: thank you for your vision, unparalled excellence and creating a worldwide brand name. All of this has been done without the pomp and circumstance of Mr. Al Davis or the overbearing audacity of Mr. Steinbrenner (RIP).

Dr. Buss' passion for the game of basketball has transcended all other NBA franchises with class and unwavering support. The mission remains the same today as it did more than 30 years ago, WIN!

In the crazy backdrop of Hollywood glitz, glamour and $$$, you could have easily been tangled in its web. Instead you embraced it. And while there have been a couple dry spells, your steadfast guidance endured.

Like the poker player you are, you take risks and know when to pounce or fold. But in the end, you strategically place pieces together to form a TEAM. It's always been about the TEAM and that is why you have such loyal fans today.

Thank you Dr. Buss!!!

Cheers to many more champions, banners and parades!


@ JAY WOO . . .

Wasco here.


So LecrAb said he's gonna remember everyone talkin bad about him?

what's he gonna do keep a tab of over 10MIL people? Haha. Then add me to that list right under barkley

But Is that supposed to be a threat? Ooooh I'm scared. And how does he expect to back that up? by choking under pressure again or just passing the ball so dwade bail him out at the FT line?

What a joke! Talk about pathetic lip service

MM, here's the HOF speech For Dr. Buss:

Thank you for this great honor. My remarks will be brief. A great man once said he didn't deserve the honors being bestowed on him, because in fact, "I have stood on the shoulders of giants." And so have I. Here today, I stand before you on the shoulders of Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kobe Bryant...and yes, you too, Shaquille O'Neal. Together, shoulder to shoulder, you have all carried me to this place, this point on the arc of my life. If I deserve anything at all for that journey, I would be satisfied enough if even one fan of the Los Angeles Lakers said, "He did everything he could to make their burden lighter and our joy greater."

Thank you.

Dr. Buss has facilitated the creation of three of the greatest, make that NBA teams in history. He's shown a knack for timing and recognizing when a player makes a team what it is (Magic, Shaq, and Kobe) and when a player's ego is more of a detriment than a benefit (Shaq). More than any other owner, Dr. Buss understands both basketball and the business of basketball and is able to balance when to keep a team together just to keep the money coming in, and when to blow a team up to ensure that titles will roll in.

Is there a single moment to recall? There are hundreds of them from watching Showtime, The Lake Show, and the latest Laker's Dynasty.


MM, please insert Magic Johnson (right after Jerry West) in my HOF speech for Dr. Buss...too coffee yet.

Dr. Buss - I love you. You have always had the audacity to win. You did whatever it took to keep the parades moving down Figueroa, and the Larry O here in LA where it belongs. As a true Lakerholic, I am forever in your debt. Thank you and congratulations!

LeRetard taking mental notes?!?

LMAO, at least we know that there is PLENTY of room for those... Nothing to get in the way there, except maybe a few delusions.

If brains were dynamite, LeBron couldn't blow his nose.


The city formerly known as Miami has disappeared. It is believed that once Princess Jimmy started keeping "mental notes" of all the people who have said negative things about her, her head exploded and collapsed into another universe - taking the city with her.

Both Florida state governments and the Fed have decided that they will not donate either efforts or funds to rebuild. Said President Obama "there's just no point. Everyone's happy now - especially Cleveland, and they really never have anything to cheer about. Why take this away from them?"


How bout a thread giving us an update on how our lakers have spent their summers and are up to these days?

Is artest on another intense offseason weighlifting program?

Is luke still workin on his tan and hittin the waves?

Is the machine workin on his J or workin on a new hairdo?

How's bynums rehab?

Enquiring minds want to know


My earliest memories of Lakers is 1969 when they failed to beat the Celtics (edged out by a few months by the still, sharp image of Broadway Joe and a jet with white smoke at the end of the Super Bowl a few months earlier). So I confess that I have lived the Dr. Buss years from the beginning.

Dr. Buss deserves a place not only in LAKERS-lore, but also NBA-lore. It has been universally reported for decades now how the Lakers-Celtics/Magic-Bird rivalry revived, if not saved, the NBA back in the '80's. But credit to Buss is much more deserved here than what most reporters ever mention.

It was LAKERS SHOWTIME that really was the catalyst for the NBA revival, moving the spotlight away from drug scandals (Phoenix traded almost their entire TEAM over an 18 month period to cleanse their organization!) and brutality on the court (fights were common and horrible images that fanned racial sentiments).

It was LAKERS SHOWTIME that changed the landscape of TV contracts. When LA beat Philly in 1980, I remember following most games via the dreaded "tape-delay" at 11:30 PM local time in LA. (That's right,,, 11:30 PM!) In fact, I remember talking to my dad the evening of Game 6 when LA beat Philly thanks to Magic's best game ever. That game was tape delayed in Hawaii!

In the 1979 draft, Dr. Buss had the opportunity to draft an oversized guard who had unquestioned skills, a winning track record and All-American accolades. BUT instead, he went with a freakishly large "point guard" in whom he saw the vision of SHOWTIME. Passing on the great Sidney Moncreif, he selected Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

In 1982, his vision and leadership sided with a player against a coach (a rarity at any time). That the player was black and the coach was white added even more significance. Instead of trading the disgruntled player, he fired the coach. Good-bye Coach Westhead. Hello Coach Riley. Anything else you need, Magic? How about an unheard of 25 year, 25 million dollar contract? Done!

The league actually adopted significant new rules and regulations to legislate against the SHOWTIME LAKERS dominance. The first ever "illegal defense" rules were implemented to combat the LAKERS trapping defense scheme. The now widely accepted "salary cap" was triggered by Dr. Buss's deep-pockets stimulus packages to the roster. The Finals present day 2-3-2 format was sparked by logistical concerns that Laker-Celtic series presented. And even the now familiar "THE FINALS" was born from SHOWTIME residue when NBA Commissioner Stern felt a unique label was required to befit this brand of basketball on the biggest stage the league had to offer.

Indeed, Dr. Buss's vision of SHOWTIME and leadership to make SHOWTIME a reality is what saved the NBA back in the 80's. Without Dr. Buss, there would have been no SHOWTIME. No Lakers/Celtics rivalry renewed. No lucrative TV contracts and exposure exploding on the scene. No LakersGirls.

By the time the 2000's rolled around, Dr. Buss had a long established reputation for excellence and shrewd judgment. He was key in moving the Lakers from the Fabulous Forum to the Staples Center, thus invigorating downtwon and giving birth to the incredible "LA LIVE" scene. He plucked Phil Jackson out of "retirement" to coach the Lakers. He chose Kobe over Shaq. He saw Mitch Kupchak to succeed Jerry West when nobody else did. He saw his children to succeed himself when nobody else did.

Today, he is inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Arguably, with apologies to supporters to Red Auerbach, there is no owner who has brought more style and subtance to the NBA. He is a winner by so many definitions. A man of vision and conviction who made choices nobody else dared.

Years ago I said that I believe the LAKERS gain is the Leagues loss. Imagine what Dr. Buss could have accomplished for the NBA if he had been THE COMMISSIONER for the past 30 years ~ WOW!

Congrats to you, Dr. Buss.


Congrats Dr Buss, Go Lakers

yellofever - it's definitely a good idea but because it's the offseason no one is really around for interviews. Our beat reporters Mike Bresnahan and Brad Turner will get details if any news comes up on anything health related but because it's the offseason players aren't obligated and expected to just be around and available to talk. Once training camp approaches in Sept. we'll definitely have more details on it.





In Case You Missed It...


All Things Lakers »

Your database for all things purple and gold.

Find a Laker

Search a name

Select a season

Choose one of our lists



About the Bloggers

Bleacher Report | Lakers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Lakers on Bleacher Report »

Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists:

In Case You Missed It...