HoopsHype Jerry Buss rumors

March 28, 2013 Updates

Jerry Buss -- who owned the L.A. Lakers before he died -- has given a girlfriend many decades younger than him an awesome parting gift -- his Honolulu, Hawaii condo and his 2009 Bentley! TMZ just obtained a copy of Jerry's will, and he leaves just about everything to his family trust. The trustee is Jerry's daughter, Jeanie Buss. According to the will, the estate is worth in excess of $5.5 million (although his assets obviously total way more than that). TMZ.com

March 18, 2013 Updates
March 3, 2013 Updates

But much of the world saw him as a maverick, a rich man who acted like one of the guys. "I saw him walking in with these jeans on," Johnson recalled of their first meeting. "I said, 'This man's got all this money?'" This unpretentious style helped Buss, divorced and known as a playboy, forge close relationships with many of his players. After games, he transformed the Forum's press lounge into a late-night party spot, entertaining athletes, reporters and young women as announcer Chick Hearn poured drinks at the bar. Buss said: "Just because I'm a public figure doesn't mean I don't get to live my life the way I want." Los Angeles Times

March 1, 2013 Updates

Welcome to Sam Choy's Pineapple Express, may I help you? Rudy Garciduenas was one of the most sturdy and respected links on the Lakers' food chain. Today he works in a food truck. For 26 years, through Showtime and Shaq's Time and Kobe's Team, Garciduenas served as the Lakers' equipment manager, one of the few reliable constants in a sea of locker-room change. Two seasons after losing his job in a purge of staff members who were close to departed coach Phil Jackson, he has traded a life of passing out uniforms to one of passing out Brah Barbeque Pork Sandwiches for $8 each. His story is an old one, and a new one. It is the time-worn Hollywood tale of the fleeting existence of those who serve the stars. Yet it uniquely involves an organization that was long run like a family, a Lakers culture that has slowly chilled since the benevolent late Jerry Buss placed its basketball operations in the hands of son Jim. Los Angeles Times

Garciduenas, who was laid off in June 2011 with nearly 20 other longtime employees, including training staff members and an assistant general manager, learned of his departure when he received a letter about temporary insurance. He received no severance pay. There was no farewell party. He spent the next year living off unemployment and retirement funds. He came close to selling some of his valuable Lakers memorabilia to make ends meet but finally worked his way into this truck. On a recent afternoon on a narrow Hollywood street surrounded by post-production studios, Garciduenas could be found serving lunch to a long line of office workers with his same trademark Lakers smile and good humor, one bit of his Lakers past missing. He has seven NBA championship rings — one more than Michael Jordan, two more than Kobe Bryant — yet he never wears one to work. "I'd rather not end up with teriyaki sauce all over them," he said. Los Angeles Times

Garciduenas was the guy in charge of procuring and maintaining a selection of Shaquille O'Neal's size-23 shoes. To illustrate the uniqueness of such footwear, he would occasionally wear one of Shaq's shoes on his head. In appreciation of his work, O'Neal helped him buy a truck whose license plates eventually read, "THNX SHAQ." Garciduenas was the guy who purchased and transported the special high chair that creaky Phil Jackson would require on the bench. He was the guy running for the white towel to cover up Robert Horry when a broken drawstring dropped his pants to his knees in Sacramento. He was the guy hurriedly stitching the corners of a name onto a jersey of a hastily acquired player and praying they would not fall off until a seamstress arrived the next day to make them permanent. "We all love Rudy, all of us; you can't find a single person who doesn't love the guy," Lakers spokesman John Black said. Los Angeles Times

February 22, 2013 Updates

At Thursday's memorial service for Jerry Buss, who died on Monday, Bryant also encouraged his teammates to look at the players and coaches in the room and make the most of this season in the memory of the former Lakers owner. "It would be great if we could use that as motivation," Nash said. "I'd like to think that regardless of Dr. Buss passing that we'd have the toughness to find it in ourselves to rally. It's been a tough year obviously, and trying, but we've made some progress and we have to continue to make progress the rest of the way. It would be a beautiful thing to do it for Dr. Buss." ESPN.com

Johnson recalled how he knew Buss would always be there for him in the moment he told the world stunning news in 1991. "When I announced I had HIV, we cried for hours," Johnson said "He was thinking he would lose an adopted son. He picked up the phone and started calling hospitals to make sure I had the best health care and best doctors possible. "He'd ask, `You OK? You taking your meds?' That's when I knew this man loved me and cared about me outside winning championships and outside making no-look passes. That's who Jerry Buss was." Los Angeles Daily News

Bryant had a wonderful anecdote about when Buss called him in to his office to discuss the possibility of bringing Phil Jackson back, even after Jackson and Bryant had their issues. "I don't know how I feel about that, Dr. `B,"' Bryant said, grimacing and contorting his body. "He just looked at me and just said, `Trust me,' and I did. "That has taken us to a whole other level in winning another two championships. That came from his vision. He knew what he wanted to do and how to go about it; He also had that ability to convince you to follow him. That's what he did for me that day." Los Angeles Daily News

Stern also shared an insightful memory about Buss, The Forum and its high profile patrons. Obviously, the Forum Club's A-List guest list, parties and glitz remain the stuff of legend. But as the Commissioner also recalled, the arena was used by its owner in more substantive ways. "I've heard the word 'flamboyant' used [to describe Buss], but I experienced Jerry as modest and inquisitive. He used to use The Forum as a kind of salon, where he would tell us that he invited authors whose works he admired so he could ask them questions that he sought answers to. "He was trading tickets for knowledge. We loved it and he thought it was great." Sulia

February 21, 2013 Updates

Hugh Hefner joined ESPN Los Angeles with Max and Marcellus to discuss his relationship with Dr. Jerry Buss, whether or not Buss was a playboy, seeing the legendary Lakers owner at a lot of playboy parties and the personality of Buss. What can you tell us about your relationship with Dr. Jerry Buss and who he was to you? “He was a very dear and very special man. He had many, many friends here and around the country and abroad. I was caught before this interview trying to remember exactly how our paths initially crossed and I suppose it was probably Playboy parties. That’s where most of my social gatherings are connected to at the mansion. I was also repaid the pleasure by going to a number of Lakers games over the years as a guest of Jerry’s and sitting in his box. To say that he will be missed is really an understatement — as a human being, but also what he brought to the game. He brought in a very unique way a bit of Hollywood to the basketball game and as I say he will be truly missed.” Sports Radio Interviews

From being around Dr. Jerry Buss did you ever get a sense of where his business drive came from? “Not really from that sense, but that is why we probably were friends. The common connection for us was not publishing and it was not sports. It was not basketball. The common connection was the socializing, and as I said before, I don’t remember how exactly we met, but I think it was probably at a Playboy party and we threw a lot of them and he was at a lot of them.” Sports Radio Interviews

Bryant delivered a minute-long speech Wednesday about Jerry Buss, the longtime Lakers owner who died Monday. He delivered the speech before the Lakers played the Boston Celtics, a perfect moment in a rivalry Buss helped build. "On Monday we lost what we all know to be the greatest owner in sports, ever," Bryant said. "He was a brilliant, incredible owner, but he was even a better person with a great heart. His vision transcended the game, and we are all spoiled by his vision and by his drive to win year after year after year. "And through our years being here at Staples Center, the one thing we could always count on was the great 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." USA Today Sports

"He made me the man I am today," Johnson said Tuesday night, a day after Buss died. "Forget just the basketball player, but the man that I am. I owe a lot to Dr. Buss. "I think the reason I own the Dodgers today is because of Dr. Buss and his expertise of giving me sound business advice and making sure I took care of my money and things of that nature." NBA.com

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