There have now been a couple of significant celebrity passings that I feel the urge to mention. I better do it now before that third what we all know is coming round the corner. So we'll start with the one that more people would easily recognize.
I have made it clear on a few different occasions that I am not one of the current Lakers fans. I have been one of their harshest critics ever since they made that decision to stick with Kobe and trade Shaq. Even though I knew it made perfect basketball sense given the number of years that the two of them had ahead of them. I just never have really warmed to Kobe. Especially after his little Colorado escapade. So seeing their organization back him instead of the big man never did sit right with me. And I'm sure the Lakers were always real worried about what I thought of them.
Now having said that, that wasn't always the case. Although I never have had a favorite NBA team ( Kansas City doesn't have a franchise), I've always had players that I really enjoyed watching. Back in the day, at least a couple of those players were on the Lakers. I don't know a single kid who didn't love watching Magic Johnson do his thing during the Showtime era. The other one being James Worthy who never ceased to disappoint either.
It was more than just enjoying those two superstars on the court though. The entire Lakers squad during the 80s was an amazing entity. They forged battles against their rivals the Boston Celtics that have STILL never been matched. And Buss was largely the architect behind all those Showtime squads. Pat Riley may have been the coach in charge of the show, but it was Buss who was the maestro that brought it all together in the first place. It doesn't matter what the Lakers do from this day forward because I will always give him props for being the biggest cog behind the scenes responsible for those amazing Lakers squads from my childhood.
I didn't even realize that Buss was sick. Let alone that he had cancer. I know I'm not a current Lakers fan, but you would still think that that would have been bigger news given the impact he had. Or maybe I have just been that disinterested in the current state of the NBA that I missed any announcements about it. Last I heard, his name was brought up as the reason Phil Jackson wasn't brought back to coach the Lakers' latest effort to recreate a Showtime atmosphere. If that truly was the case, it would be in poor taste if they now decide to reach back out to Phil in Jerry's absence. But then again, now that Showtime is long gone, they can do whatever they want. Jerry's already done more than his part.
Rest in peace, Maestro.