Why would I write about the passing of Dr. Jerry Buss?
Because my brush with him and the glamour of the Los Angeles Lakers “Showtime” world in the 1980s, illustrates a dichotomy of my life that has always fascinated me (when it wasn’t traumatizing me, of course). In my “previous life”, my 20s and 30s, I had the privilege of enjoying many dinners at Dr. Buss’s private table in the Forum Club, and then watching the game from his box. A “box” in the Forum days, was as VIP as it got before someone came up with the brilliant idea of luxury suites. This is not about throwing names around or bragging. It’s about how I felt being both comfortable and uncomfortable in this awesome fantasy world. As a young woman, I was terribly insecure hangin’ amongst the company of Playboy playmates and stunning models, with guys making every play they could think of to garner their attention. Trust me, the only reason I was there was because of my boyfriend. I couldn’t even pretend to pull off that image.
The conflict existed because I was more interested in hearing what Dr. Buss was talking about with respect to the team and basketball business. The chatter of the girls got on my nerves because they were distracting him from what I really wanted to hear. I wanted to be in my seat before the game started and sitting there until the final buzzer went off. I didn’t have time for all the “stuff” that made the ‘Showtime’ world, all the more enticing to the masses. I was enamored with watching Magic, Kareem, James and Byron.
For me, sitting within breathing distance of Dr. Jerry Buss was a privilege. . .as a basketball fan. He was a brilliant man, a kind heart and the epitome of what a sports franchise owner should be. . .
From the chick who fit in, but didn’t fit in. . .