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#pounditSaturday, February 4, 2023

Jeanie Buss goes viral over cool gesture for ex-Lakers champion

Jeanie Buss looking on

Nov 20, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers President Jeanie Buss before the game against the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center. Bulls won 118-110. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jeanie Buss had a heartwarming gesture this week for an ex-Lakers player.

Retired former NBA big man Slava Medvedenko was in attendance Monday at the Lakers’ annual All-Access event. During the event, Buss presented Medvedenko with replacement championship rings. Medvedenko, who is from Ukraine, won two rings over his career with the Lakers but recently sold them to aid his country’s war effort against Russia.

TMZ Sports notes that Medvedenko’s two rings sold for a total of $253,534. The proceeds went to Medvedenko’s organization, The Fly High Foundation, which is committed to helping Ukrainian children affected by the war.

Now 43, Medvedenko played on the Lakers for six seasons from 2000 to 2006, winning his two championships with them in 2001 and 2002 (during the Shaquille O’Neal-Kobe Bryant era). Medvedenko’s best season came in 2003-04 when he started 38 games for the Lakers, averaging 8.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in a year where they went on to make the NBA Finals (but lost in five games to the Detroit Pistons). Medvedenko was also famous for the legendary speeches he gave at the Lakers’ championship parades.

As for Buss, several aspects of her management of the Lakers have been criticized. But she always does right by the team’s former players and continues to have a close relationship with many of them.

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