Following a long battle with cancer, Dr. Jerry Buss, 80, passed away this morning. The Los Angeles Lakers released a statement about their longtime owner: “We not only have lost our cherished father, but a beloved man of our community and a person respected by the world basketball community,’ a statement released on behalf of the Buss family said. Dr. Buss had been hospitalized much of the past 18 months in a battle which ‘showed his amazing strength and will to live. It was our father’s often stated desire and expectation that the Lakers remain in the Buss family. The Lakers have been our lives as well and we will honor his wish and do everything in our power to continue his unparalleled legacy,’ the statement concluded. [...] Funeral and memorial service arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Lakers Youth Foundation or a charity of the donor’s choice.”