The Lakers honored Jerry Buss with a tribute before their game against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday at Staples Center.
The Lakers' longtime owner died Monday from kidney failure after a battle against an undisclosed type of cancer. He was 80.
The tribute began with a video montage of Buss photos, spanning from his childhood to his 10 championships with the Lakers in his more than three decades as the team's owner.
After the video presentation, Bryant, who has known Buss since he was a teenager, walked to half court amid raucous appluase from the crowd and took the microphone.
"On Monday we lost what we all know to be the greatest owner in sports, ever," Bryant said.
"He was a brilliant and incredible owner, but he was an even better person with a great heart.
"His vision has transcended the game and we are all, all, spoiled by his vision and by his drive to win year after year after year.
"Through our years being here at Staples Center, the one thing that we could always count on was the great Dr. Jerry Buss overlooking his franchise from his box. I'd like to ask all of you to please join us in a moment of silence to honor the great Dr. Jerry Buss."
The jumbotron then showed Buss' empty seat in his suite.
Shorly after that, Buss' voice echoed through the sold-out arena.
“The real purpose of what I do was to try to have this city totally involved and identified with it,” Buss said. “I wanted that, when you think L.A., ‘Oh, wait, that’s where the Lakers play. Lakers. Lakers.’ That’s what I wanted.”
A memorial service for Buss will be at 3 p.m. Thursday at Nokia Theatre. The ceremony is for invited guests only but it will be broadcast live on Time Warner Cable SportsNet.
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