Fallen basketball star Dennis Rodman broke down in tears on U.S. Tv on Monday night (18Feb13) as he paid tribute to his father figure, late Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss.

The retired sportsman played for the Lakers in the late 1990s, and revealed Buss had become a close friend.

The real estate mogul lost a battle with cancer on Monday (18Feb13) and Rodman is struggling to come to terms with his loss.

During an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Rodman was overcome with grief when asked to comment on Buss' passing.

Fighting back tears, Rodman said, "He's just like my dad. Damn, man, it's like, wow... I didn't want to bring this up... He's just... I never had a dad so..."