Lakers Royalty Pay Tribute to Jackson | NBC Southern California

Lakers Royalty Pay Tribute to Jackson

Magic made a cameo in a Jackson video



    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, Magic Speak at MJ Memorial

    [LA] Kobe, Magic Speak at MJ Memorial
    Legendary Lakers superstars Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson reflect on what Michael Jackson meant to them at Michael Jackson's public memorial at the Staples Center. (Published Wednesday, July 8, 2009)

    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.