Los Angeles Lakers Owner Jerry Buss Died

by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

80-year old Jerry Buss, the greatest owner in NBA history, died this morning. He had been hospitalized for some time with cancer and kidney failure.

Buss purchased the Los Angeles Lakers, along with the LA Kings and The Forum in 1979 from Jack Kent Cooke for $67.5 million, which was the biggest transaction in sports history at the time. Needless to say, that investment worked out well for him and his family.

Jerry Buss is survived by six children.

More from the LA times:

A self-made millionaire who built his fortune in real estate, Buss bought the Lakers in 1979. He charted his successful course with marquee players Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, Hall of Fame coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson, celebrities sitting courtside and Laker Girls dancing during timeouts.

“I really tried to create a Laker image, a distinct identity,” Buss said. “I mean, the Lakers are pretty damn Hollywood.” It was a remarkable winning streak for a man who dug his way out of a hardscrabble youth. […] “Jerry Buss helped set the league on the course it is on today,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said. “Remember, he showed us it was about ‘Showtime,’ the notion that an arena can become the focal point for not just basketball, but entertainment. He made it the place to see and be seen.”

Jerry Buss steered the Lakers to 31 playoff appearances in 33 seasons, 16 western conference titles and 10 NBA championships. May he rest in peace.