Former Lakers Coach and Miami Heat President Pat Riley reminisced about the late Jerry Buss on Thursday before he spoke at Buss' memorial service.
"It’s just a forever and for-always relationship," Riley said. "I just think he was an incredible person."
Riley worked for the Lakers before Buss purchased the team, both as a player and broadcaster.
"It was a new paradigm -- a new Laker paradigm -- when [Buss] showed up and bought the team 1979-1980," Riley said. "He just brought the best in everybody. He gave me an incredible opportunity. He encouraged me to do a lot of different things and we had a lot of good times together."
Riley, an assistant coach at the time, wasn't initially chosen to be the head coach after the Lakers fired Paul Westhead early into the 1981-82 season.
"Jerry West was supposed to be the head coach, and Jerry said he didn't want it," Riley said. "I said, 'Well if nobody wants it, I'll take it.'"