Feb 21, 2013, 10:46 AM EDT
It was an emotional night for the Lakers franchise on Wednesday, as the team was playing its first game since the passing of its long-time owner, Jerry Buss.
“On Monday, we lost what we all know to be the greatest owner in sports. Ever,” Bryant said. “He was a brilliant, incredible owner, and he was even a better person, with a great heart. His vision has transcended the game. 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.”
Bryant then pointed to where Buss was a constant fixture for Lakers home games, to an empty chair bathed in spotlight in the owner’s suite.
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