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Lakers Owner Jeanie Buss Tweets Emotional Kobe Bryant Message

At a time when the NBA is engulfed in the ebbs and flows of free agency, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss took a moment to step away from the madness to reflect on her bond with the late, great Kobe Bryant.

Buss shared a message on Twitter Sunday paying homage to Bryant, who tragically passed away on Jan. 26, 2020 in a helicopter crash at the age of 41. She also referred to the 2020 Hall of Fame inductee as the “greatest Laker ever” while praising his vaunted work ethic and the loyalty he showed throughout his 20 years wearing the purple and gold.  

“I miss KB. He would understand and explain everything that I’m not allowed to,” Buss wrote. “Honestly he was the greatest Laker ever. He understood team over self. Meaning your rewards would come if you valued team goals over your own then everything would fall into place. All can reply.”

While some NBA enthusiasts may read into Buss’ tweet looking for a possible connection to the current state of the franchise, her words echo sentiments still felt by many more than two years after Bryant’s untimely passing.

Buss, the daughter of former Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, had a front-row seat for the entirety of the five-time NBA champion’s legendary career. A few months after Bryant’s retirement in 2016, Buss took over as the team’s controlling owner and president in March 2017 in the aftermath of her father’s death in 2013.

That same year, Buss was behind the push to have Kobe’s No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys retired ahead of the 2018 All-Star Game in Los Angeles. The ceremony was held on Dec. 17, and made Bryant just the 10th Laker player honored with a retired number, and the first player in NBA history to have two numbers retired by the same team.

“I wanted to make sure when the All-Star Game was here, his jerseys [were] up in the rafters to remind everybody of the legacy and the career that Kobe had,” she said in Feb. 2018.

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