‘Meant the World to Me’: Lakers’ Owner Jeanie Buss Reveals When She Realized Kobe Bryant Trusted Her

Published 07/06/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) during the second quarter in game 3 of the first round of the NBA playoffs Friday, May 4, 2012 at Pepsi Center in Denver Colorado. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post (Photo By AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)


Can anyone get over losing the greatest player so unexpectedly? Probably never. Kobe Bryant passed away on January 27, 2020, in a helicopter crash that also took the lives of his daughter, Gianna Bryant, and seven others on it. While the whole world mourned his loss and the wound still feels fresh, some have found solace in sharing their best memories with the Lakers legend instead and one of them is Jeanie Buss.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Kobe Bryant and Jeanie Buss’ first private meet

Since his passing, the franchise, fans, his family, and everyone who was inspired by the legend opened up about him. The impact that Kobe Bryant left, tremors of it can still be felt and nobody is going to stop talking about it anytime soon. So, in an interview when Jeanie Buss was asked about the legacy and message Kobe left behind, Buss had a lot to say.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Firstly, Jeanie talked about Kobe’s journey from a 17-year-old to him becoming a great man and not just an amazing player. Then she opened up about a particularly touching story about when he decided to retire. Buss wasn’t overseeing the game but the business side of it. And when Kobe asked to meet with her privately, something he hadn’t done before, it came as a big surprise.

“At that meeting, he shared with me that he wanted to announce his retirement from the game he loved. And he had a very specific way he wanted to do it. He wanted a letter to be given to every fan in attendance at the game. This was two weeks in advance that we had.”

There were absolutely no leaks and no information about Kobe wanting to take this step. So, for Kobe to trust her like that was something Buss can never forget.

DIVE DEEPER

‘Wore Clippers Colors’: Lakers’ President Jeanie Buss Reveals the Time When Kobe Bryant Was Ready to Leave

4 months ago

The retirement became a blessing

However, Jeanie explained that when Kobe did make the announcement in November, wherever the team went, fans were paying a tribute to him. “He gave all of us such a gift because he shared with us, something so personal. And allowed us to show him our love.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“You know, that just meant the world to me that he trusted me. He knew that I would do the right thing so that he could retire on his terms which was so important for his mental well-being.”

LOS ANGELES, CA — SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 2013 — The Lakers Kobe Bryant watches the game slip away during their 109-95 loss to the Clippers on Sunday afternoon at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Jeanie has always spoken highly of the Lakers‘ legend and how much he has done for her. He was around for some of the most difficult times of her life. So, for her to be able to do the same must be invigorating.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY: Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan Most Identical Plays

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Yashima Bhatia

1346 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT