Related: Reactions to Greg Tomlinson's speech on Twitter
Wearing purple pants and a purple tie, a tanned, slick-haired man walked up to the podium at the Jerry Buss memorial Thursday and set off a social media flurry as everyone asked: Just who the heck is Greg Tomlinson?
"I think he was a party crasher," said Stan Morrison, former USC basketball coach and friend of Jerry Buss who attended Thursday's memorial at Nokia Theater. "My wife and I were nudging each other going, `Who is this guy?' because he certainly wasn't on the menu."
Morrison was right.
Instead, the audience got Tomlinson.
In Long Beach, JamesVilla pleaded via Twitter, "Someone. Please get this guy off the stage Greg Tomlinson this is awkward and horrible."
So who is Greg Tomlinson, and was he actually invited to speak?
Actually, he was a guest of Jim Buss - Jerry's son who is an executive with the team.
"He wanted something from a fan's perspective, and I thought it was a pretty genius idea on Jim's part," Tomlinson said of Jim Buss' request to have him speak. "It was pretty remarkable that Jim felt I could represent the voice of the fans. It was a big weight to bear."
Tomlinson, who also goes by GT, is the founder of an Orange County sunglasses company called VonZipper and was also an on-air announcer for the Winter X Games from 1996 through 2005.
He said he's known Jim Buss for about 20 years, having the pleasure to meet Jerry Buss "on enough occasions to know that he was a really neat guy."
So when Jerry Buss' death was announced on Monday, Tomlinson said he texted Jim Buss his condolences just as any good friend would.
He had no idea that in the next few days Jim Buss was going to call and request he speak during the special ceremony at Nokia Theater.
"I was like, `What?"' Tomlinson recalled. "I went from the guy who said if they needed to give up my seat to a dignitary or someone more important, to the guy who was going to make a speech about Jerry Buss."
While flattered, Tomlinson said his reaction was that people were going to go: "Who the f is this guy?"
"And I guess they did," Tomlinson said, laughing.
During the memorial, even during back-to-back speeches from Laker greats like former coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson to players like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and Magic Johnson, social media feeds buzzed.
ESPN writer Arash Markazi tweeted: "Smart money is on Greg `Who is that guy?' Tomlinson, who isn't in the program, finishing with the longest speech today."
Tomlinson's speech did run for about 8 minutes, during which he mused about The Lake Show and its successes under Jerry Buss.
"I am a fan first and I listen to a lot of sports talk radio, so I just started to reflect on all the experiences I had with the Lakers; the community, the rivalry, the smack talk, the bets," Tomlinson said of how he came up with his speech. "The speech was a heartfelt reflection of family and the impact Jerry had indirectly - originally - and then directly when I got to know him. I was just a fan who became friends with the family."
Even hours after his speech, Tomlinson was still the center of much commentary online and at L.A. Live where people called his eulogy a "trainwreck" and criticized Jim Buss for adding him to the roster.
Joe McDonnell, Fox Sports writer and radio host for KNX 1070, dubbed it the "weirdest moment of the Buss memorial."
"Greg Tomlinson - a friend of Jim Buss - spoke. Who? Why?"
Fortunately for Tomlinson, he was oblivious to the criticism - at least while talking to a Los Angeles News Group reporter just before entering the memorial's reception.
"It was a pretty big honor to get the call from the Buss family to be a representative of the fans. It was a task that I didn't take lightly," Tomlinson said. "I hope I did the fans service and, more importantly, I hope I did the Buss family service."