The beloved mentor and his favorite student spent their final hours together holding hands on a hospital bed.

Jerry Buss was entering the final stage of his life after a long battle with cancer, and he wanted to spend some of it with Magic Johnson.

Buss summoned Johnson to his room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center last fall and, together, for five hours, they clutched each other and told stories and cried.

At one point, Buss summoned two nurses to the room. Johnson was worried something was wrong until Buss ordered the three to pose for a picture.

"He said, 'These two lovely ladies have taken care of me, I don't want to forget them,'" recalled Johnson, "I was like, 'Wow, Doc, you've still got it!'"

Johnson's voice thickened when telling that story Monday, just hours after Buss had died at age 80.

"I'm crying right now," said Johnson. "Without Dr. Jerry Buss, there is no Magic."

There may never be a more influential or enduring owner-player duo in sports history. Buss and Magic arrived at the Lakers at about the same time in 1979, and over the next 34 years forged a bond that set records, made millions, and forged memories that will decorate a giant city forever.