Below is a statement former Lakers general manager Jerry West released through the Golden State Warriors on the passing of Lakers owner Jerry Buss. West currently works on Golden State’s executive board.
“This is an extremely sad day for me<" West said in the statement. "As I have said many times, I have been blessed to work for Jerry Buss, the most successful owner in basketball history. His incredible commitment and desire to build a championship-caliber team that could sustain success over a long period of time has been unmatched. With all of his achievements, Jerry was without a doubt one of the most humble men I’ve ever been around. His vision was second to none; he wanted an NBA franchise brand that represented the very best and went to every extreme to accomplish his goals. His achievements as an owner are legendary and will never be duplicated: 10 NBA titles and 16 trips to the NBA Finals. Jerry was an innovator in the sports world and many sports franchises have tried to follow his recipe for success and his vision of making NBA basketball as much about sports as entertainment. “Our relationship has always been very unique; Jerry was always supportive of the many tough decisions that were made during our time together. I will particularly remember fondly our walks together during training camps, which were some of the highlights of my time working with him and the Lakers." “I was blessed to have the opportunity to work for him and I will miss him dearly. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Buss family and the Lakers organization. We lost a great man today and a legend in our business.” Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org