LOS ANGELES - Lakers owner Jeanie Buss recently reflected on the life and legacy of Kobe Bryant during a Good Day LA interview with anchor Michaela Pereira.
"He had such a profound effect on so many people. His story is so inspirational and will continue to inspire us for more years to come," Buss told Pereira.
"He was somebody that came to the Lakers when he was 17 years old — stayed with the Lakers his entire career," she said. "We got to watch him grow up and we watched him become a leader in so many things."
Nearly a year since Bryant's untimely death, Buss recalled her own experience suffering his loss, as a Lakers legend and as a friend.
"When I was struggling right after my father had passed away and the Lakers were not winning in the bottom of the standings, I would go and spend time with Kobe and we would talk about this, he would listen, and he would share his experience — he would share his thoughts," recalled Buss. "He didn’t have to do that. He was retired, he was spending time with his family... but he made time to be a sounding board and a support. Even when my mother passed away in December, he reached out and called me to just check-in and see how I was doing. That’s the kind of person that Kobe was."
Buss said that she saw Bryant's true impact on the world following his death.
"I knew how he was with me, but the amount of love not just from our own team, but players on the other teams in the NBA, and then in other sports, and then around the world," she said.
"We talk about Laker nation and we all experienced the tragedy of losing Kobe Bryant and Gianna in that terrible crash and all the while feeling so alone in our heartbreak, what brought us together was Laker nation," said Buss. "I think that shows the power of what Laker nation and the community coming together and really sharing our grief and really celebrating this person we all loved."