Riley reacts to Buss' death

Heat President honors Lakers owner

Published On: Feb 18 2013 05:03:31 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 18 2013 05:08:29 PM EST
MIAMI -

Heat team President released a statement about the death of Dr. Jerry Buss.

Riley received his coaching start in Los Angeles.

Riley said: "Today, in the world of sports, we have lost a true giant.  Jerry Buss was more than just an owner.  he was one of the great innovators that any sports has ever encountered.  He was a true visionary and it was obvious with the Lakers in the 80's that 'Showtime' was more than just Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar."

Riley went on to credit Buss, "It was really the vision of a man who saw something that connected with a community.  I was privileged to be part of that for 10 years and even more grateful for the friendship that has lasted all these many years.  I have always come to realize that if it weren't for Dr. Buss, I wouldn't be where I am today. "

Riley credits Buss with helping to start his career, "I will always hold him and his memory in the highest of regards.  Chris and I truly love Jerry Buss.  He was a great friend and will be missed."

Dr. Jerry Buss was 80 years old.