When people talk about Jerry Buss, they talk about his extraordinary vision as a businessman and longtime successful owner of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Suns guard Shannon Brown knows all of that to be true. He also knows of an individual who cared about his players.
“He always had a friendly feel,” Brown, a one-time Lakers guard, said. “When he was around or if ever you needed to reach out to him, he’ll talk to you about whatever; whatever the case was. It was always positive. You never heard nothing negative coming from him at all.”
Brown said he heard the news of Buss’ passing once he arrived back in Phoenix following the All-Star break.
“He came to my wedding and that was huge,” he said. “That showed me that he really cared about me as an individual and not just as a player that was basically working for him and somebody that he’s paying.
“It’s a sad situation all around,” Brown continued. “My prayers go out to him and his family.”
Brown played two-plys seasons with the Lakers before joining the Suns. He was a part of the Lakers’ championship teams in 2009 and 2010, two of the 10 NBA titles won under Buss’ ownership after purchasing the franchise in 1979.
“Those were some of my best years, thus far, even though I’m still young and got hopefully a lot more years in the league,” Brown said. “The Lakers are the team that let me showcase my abilities and got me two championships.”
Suns managing partner Robert Sarver also reflected on Buss’ passing in a statement released by the team:
“On behalf of the entire Phoenix Suns organization, our thoughts and prayers are with the Buss family. As an NBA owner, Dr. Buss was in a league of his own. I loved listening to his stories and appreciated his willingness to always engage in discussion and offer me positive encouragement and advice. He will be greatly missed.”