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Jerry Buss calls Jamaal Wilkes a 'special and gifted player'

April 02, 2012|By Mark Medina
  • Jamaal Wilkes is introduced by broadcaster Jim Nance during a news conference in new Orleans to announce Wilkes' selection as a Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.
Jamaal Wilkes is introduced by broadcaster Jim Nance during a news conference… (Gerald Herbert / Associated…)

The Lakers have already showed appreciation for Jamaal Wilkes' induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame by planning to retire his No. 52 jersey at some point next season. They're also doing so in words,  releasing a statement on behalf of Lakers owner Jerry Buss.

"Anyone who truly knows and loves the game of basketball surely recognizes what a special and gifted player Jamaal Wilkes was.  A rare combination of selflessness and grace, Jamaal made the game look effortless. It’s easy to forget that Jamaal averaged 20-plus points during our 1980 and 1982 championship seasons. Many also don’t recall that he scored 37 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the decisive Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals.  He was overlooked by some because he put the team first, the individual second and let others shine.  It is now time for Jamaal to shine, and we congratulate him on this long overdue and much deserved honor."

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