Los Angeles Lakers Owner Jerry Buss Dead at 80

The AP has reported that longtime Los Angeles Lakers owner has died at 80.

According to Buss’ assistant Bob Steiner, he died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of Kidney failure. Prior to his death, Buss had been hospitalized for cancer.

“We not only have lost our cherished father, but a beloved man of our community and a person respected by the world basketball community,” said the Buss family through the Lakers organization.

Thanks to Buss’ devoted ownership, the City of Los Angeles has enjoyed NBA titles in 1980, ’82, ’85, ’87, ’88, 2000, ’01, ’02, ’09 and ’10. His tenure saw amazing talents including Kareem Adul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, James Worthy, Byron Scott and Kobe Bryant rise to prominence.

“The NBA has lost a visionary owner whose influence on our league is incalculable and will be felt for decades to come,” said NBA commissioner David Stern. “More importantly, we have lost a dear and valued friend. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.”

Buss was born in Salt lake City and earned his doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Southern California (USC). Born on January 27, 1933 as Gerald Hatten Buss, his fortune was made in the real estate industry. His first investment was $1,000 in a Los Angeles apartment building.

Read more about the Jerry Buss legacy.