Jerry Buss was the showman behind Showtime, the man who won 10 NBA championships by signing some of the greatest and most glitzy players ever, from Magic Johnson to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, from Shaquille O’Neal to Kobe Bryant.
Yet, during a lunch at his home several years ago, he spoke most fondly of Kwame Brown.
The underachieving center lived across the street from Buss’ hilltop home. They would talk in the morning by the mailbox. They sometimes hung out together after games. If you were a Laker, any kind of Laker, you held a piece of Buss’ heart forever, and when Buss traded Brown, the owner quietly mourned as if he had just lost a superstar.
“We’re friends,” he said.— Bill Plaschke…this is Jerry Buss