Lakers Royalty Pay Tribute to Jackson | NBC Southern California

Lakers Royalty Pay Tribute to Jackson

Magic made a cameo in a Jackson video

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Magic and Michael made a video together.

    Last time Kobe Bryant was in Staples Center, it was a joyous occasion — the Lakers had just won game two on the NBA Finals and were on their way to the championship.

    Tuesday, was a darker occasion.

    Kobe, a long time friend of Michael Jackson’s — Jackson had offered to host Kobe’s wedding at Neverland Ranch — told Fox Business News he wouldn’t miss the memorial.

    “Well, I will be there,” Kobe said. “And, you know, I think it's devastating for everybody, obviously.  I think that what people don’t know about Michael was the amount of time he put in to bringing so much joy to so many people all over the world.  I mean, it wasn’t like, you know, he’d wake up one night and think of ‘Billie Jean’ and go in the studio and it’s voila.”

    Magic Johnson, maybe the greatest Laker of them all, had a cameo in Jackson’s Remember the Time video (along with Eddie Murphy). Now a prominent businessman as well, the 6’9” Johnson was hard to miss among the many celebrities at Staples Center.He said Jackson influenced him on the court.

    "(He)made me a better point guard and basketball player as I watched him be so great," Johnson said.

    Jeannie Buss, the Executive Vice President of Business Operations of the Lakers — which means she runs the business end — as well as the daughter of team owner Jerry Buss and girlfriend of coach Phil Jackson, was active on Twitter for the first part of the ceremony.

    She made three tweets:

    here at MJ memorial - stage is beautiful w/flowers I have a lump in my throat and weepy

    very quiet after Smokey Robinson read comments from Diana Ross and Nelson Mandela

    overwhelmed with sadness - service has not started but no more tweets from me until over RIP MJ

    This fall, Staples Center will return to being a place of celebration for these three. But with all the great basketball memories now also will mingle the memory of Jackson when they enter the building.