‘Flip’ Coca turned Lakers fandom into a career

Flip Coca was Lakers owner Jerry Buss' personal assistant for over 20 years. Photo courtesy of the Coca family

by Will Watson

For over 20 years, Phillip “Flip” Coca served as Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss’ personal assistant. Although he retired from the Lakers in 2013, Flip remained close to the Lakers family, and was presented his final Championship Ring in 2020.

A 2001 Los Angeles Times article about Buss notes that on game nights, “Buss’ personal assistant, Flip Coca, distributes the passes for the Chairman’s Room, making him the second-most powerful man in the suite.” The Chairman’s room was Buss’ private bar at the Forum

Flip passed away Monday, October 11 at the age of 58.

Flip grew up in the Manhattan Beach tree section, and graduated Mira Costa in 1981. He loved skateboarding, surfing, and basketball. The avid Lakers fan was an early season ticket holder at the Great Western Forum. That enthusiasm led to a career with the Lakers organization. 

Flip was proud of his “old school bros” and was always eager to introduce them to visitors, celebrities, and sports figures. He loved playing the stock market and working on his portfolio, and was an early investor in the cannabis industry. He was a regular at local establishments, including Eat at Joe’s, North End, and Barnacles, but also enjoyed dining at Ruth Chris and other fine steak houses.  

Flip is survived by his brother, Mike, as well as several aunts and cousins.

A memorial service for Flip will take place this Saturday, October 30 from 3 p.m  to 5 p.m., on the beach at 26th street in Manhattan Beach. The celebration will continue at Baja Sharkeez in Hermosa Beach,  from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ER





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