If the Lakers want to maintain the respect of a community that has blindly given them their hearts, now is the time for them to turn on the lights and let the world know they're still here.
He's done it before. His team has been under siege before, and he's always been the first one throwing himself in front of the door with some of the grandest gestures in NBA history.
Magic Johnson is mad? Buss fires a coach and begins a dynasty.
A city is bored? Buss approved the expensive acquisition of Shaquille O'Neal and the trading for draft pick Bryant.
A city is frustrated when O'Neal and Bryant can't win a title? Buss fires a coach and begins another dynasty.
OK, so the gestures haven't always been smart. Can we all finally agree that the trading of O'Neal may have cost the franchise at least one more shot at a championship? Have they won a playoff series since?
And, certainly, Buss' gestures have sometimes been overly sentimental. Can we agree that the return of Phil Jackson to oversee this depleted roster also hasn't been worth the time or money?
In the true flavor of his Hollywood image, Buss has soared and crashed and soared again.
But at least he's always leaped.
Today the Lakers are in desperate need of that leap.
Team officials said that nobody in the Buss family was doing interviews Tuesday, that they were not giving up on their rebellious superstar, but they did not want to talk about it.
That's too bad. There's some things the Laker Nation needs to hear.
However Buss wants to do it, he must figure a way to answer new and unsettling questions.
The first being, is Kobe Bryant right?
Did Buss really woo Bryant back to the team three years ago by promising he would immediately rebuild for a championship, even as he was warning Phil Jackson it would be a long-term process?
Will Buss do what it takes — can he do what it takes? — to help the Lakers compete for a championship before Bryant's contract can be terminated in two years?
The second question being, is Kobe Bryant fair?
Does Buss think Kupchak should take the fall for the Lakers' problems, and would he welcome Jerry West back to the organization as the boss?