Jerry Buss, longtime owner of the Los Angeles Lakers died on Monday at the age of 80. Reports came out last week that Buss had been in the hospital battling an undisclosed type of cancer for months, but his death was reportedly caused by kidney failure.
Buss had been to the hospital a number of times over the last few years and had taken a step back in his involvement with the Lakers, giving more responsibility to his son Jim and daughter Jeanie.
In 1979, Buss paid $67.5 million in a deal that got him the Lakers, the Forum, the Los Angeles Kings and a 13,000-acre ranch. The Lakers were only valued at $16 million at that time. A little over three decades later, Forbes says they are worth a billion dollars.
The Lakers won 10 NBA championships while Buss owned the team, making him the most successful team owner in sports history.
Jerry Buss will surely be remembered for all he brought to the Lakers and the NBA. He’s been one of the most influential people in sports for a long time. Even more important is that he seemed to have the love and admiration from anyone around him. Over the next few days, we’ll surely see dozens of personal accounts saying what a great guy Buss was.
Jerry Buss’ life story is one of the most interesting, inspirational stories I’ve ever seen. Is influence reached well beyond the game of basketball, and he will surely be missed by many.