"His vision transcended the game and we are all, all spoiled by his vision and his drive to win year, after year, after year.
"Through our years here at Staples Center, the one thing that we always counted on was the great Dr. Jerry Buss overlooking his franchise from his box."
Bryant paused to point to Buss' luxury box that was empty, with a spotlight shining on the owner's seat in the middle of the box throughout the night.
Bryant then asked the crowd to recognize Buss with a moment of silence that lasted 20 seconds. The silent tribute was followed by audio from a Buss interview recorded Feb. 16, 2011.
"The real purpose of what I did was to try to have this city totally involved and identify with it and I wanted that when you think L.A., 'Oh, wait, that's where the Lakers play!' " Buss boomed over the public-address system. "Lakers. Lakers. That's what I wanted."