Jerry Buss
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jerry Buss, the Los Angeles Lakers' playboy owner who shepherded the NBA franchise to 10 championships from the '80s Showtime dynasty to the Kobe Bryant era, died Monday, his assistant said.

Buss died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said Bob Steiner, his assistant. He was 80.

He'd been hospitalized for cancer, but the immediate cause of death was kidney failure, Steiner said.

Under Buss' leadership since 1979, the Lakers became Southern California's most beloved sports franchise and a worldwide extension of Hollywood glamour. Buss acquired, nurtured and befriended a staggering array of talented players and basketball minds during his Hall of Fame tenure.

Few owners in sports history can even approach Buss' accomplishments with the Lakers, who made the NBA finals 16 times through 2011 during his 32 years in charge, winning 10 titles between 1980 and 2010. The Lakers easily are the NBA's winningest franc hise since he bought the club.

Few owners have ever been more beloved by their players than Buss, who always referred to the Lakers as his extended family. Working with front-office executives Jerry West and Mitch Kupchak, Buss spent lavishly to win his titles despite lacking a huge personal fortune, often running the NBA's highest payroll while also paying high-profile coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson.

Always an innovative businessman, Buss paid for the Lakers through both their wild success and his own groundbreaking moves to raise revenue. He co-founded a basic-cable sports television network and sold the naming rights to the Forum at times when both now-standard strategies were unusual, adding justification for his induction into the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.

Magic Johnson and fellow Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy formed lifelong bonds with Buss during the Lakers' run to five titles in nine years in the 1980s, when the L akers earned a reputation as basketball's most exciting team with their glamorous Showtime style.

Jackson then led Shaquille O'Neal and Bryant to a threepeat from 2000-02, rekindling the Lakers' mystique, before Bryant and Pau Gasol won two more titles under Jackson in 2009 and 2010.

Although Buss was proudest of his two hands full of NBA title rings, he also was a scholar, Renaissance man and bon vivant who epitomized California cool - and a certain Los Angeles lifestyle - for his entire public life.

The father of six rarely appeared in public without at least one attractive, much younger woman on his arm at USC football games, boxing matches, poker tournaments - and, of course, Lakers games from his private box at Staples Center, which was built under his watch.

Buss earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at age 24 and had careers in aerospace and real estate development before getting into sports. With money largely from his Santa Monica real-estate ventures, Buss bought the then-struggling Lakers, the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and both clubs' arena - the Forum - from Jack Kent Cooke in a $67.5 million deal that was the largest sports transaction in history at the time.

In January 2011, Forbes estimated the Lakers were worth $643 million - the second-most valuable NBA franchise.

Buss also helped change televised sports by co-founding the Prime Ticket network in 1985, even receiving a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006 for his work in television. Breaking the contemporary model of subscription services for televised sports, Buss' Prime Ticket put beloved broadcaster Chick Hearn and the Lakers' home games on basic cable.

Buss also sold the naming rights to the Forum in 1988 to Great Western Savings & Loan - another deal that was ahead of its time.

Born in Salt Lake City, Gerald Hatten Buss was raised in Wyoming and attended USC for graduate school, eventually becoming a chemistry professor and working a s a chemist for the Bureau of Mines before his life took an abrupt turn into wealth and sports.

The former mathematician claimed his fortune grew out of a $1,000 real-estate investment in a West Los Angeles apartment building with partner Frank Mariani, an aerospace engineer.

Buss purchased Cooke's entire Los Angeles sports empire in 1979, including a 13,000-acre ranch in Kern County. Buss' love of basketball was the motivation for his purchase, and he immediately worked to transform the Lakers - who had won just one NBA title since moving west from Minneapolis in 1960 - into a star-powered endeavor befitting Hollywood.

"One of the first things I tried to do when I bought the team was to make it an identification for this city, like Motown in Detroit," he told the Los Angeles Times in 2008. "I try to keep that identification alive. I'm a real Angeleno. I want us to be part of the community."

Buss' plans immediately worked: Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar and coa ch Paul Westhead led the Lakers to the 1980 title. Johnson's ball-handling wizardry and Abdul-Jabbar's smooth inside game made for an attractive style of play evoking Hollywood flair and West Coast cool.

Riley, the former broadcaster who fit the L.A. image perfectly with his slick-backed hair and chiseled good looks, was surprisingly promoted by Buss early in the 1981-82 season after West declined to co-coach the team. Riley became one of the best coaches in NBA history, leading the Lakers to four straight NBA finals and four titles, with Worthy, Michael Cooper, Byron Scott and A.C. Green playing major roles.

Overall, the Lakers made the finals nine times in Buss' first 12 seasons while rekindling the NBA's best rivalry with the Boston Celtics, and Buss basked in the worldwide celebrity he received from his team's achievements. His womanizing and partying became Hollywood legend, with even his players struggling to keep up with Buss' lifestyle.

Johnson's HIV diagnosis and retirement in 1991 staggered Buss and the Lakers, the owner recalled in 2011. The Lakers struggled through much of the 1990s, going through seven coaches and making just one conference finals appearance in an eight-year stretch despite the 1996 arrivals of O'Neal, who signed with Los Angeles as a free agent, and Bryant, the 17-year-old high schooler acquired in a draft-week trade.

Shaq and Kobe didn't reach their potential until Buss persuaded Jackson, the Chicago Bulls' six-time NBA champion coach, to take over the Lakers in 1999. Los Angeles immediately won the next three NBA titles in brand-new Staples Center, AEG's state-of-the-art downtown arena built with the Lakers as the primary tenant.

After the Lakers traded O'Neal in 2004, they hovered in mediocrity again until acquiring Gasol in a heist of a trade with Memphis in early 2008. Los Angeles made the next three NBA finals, winning two more titles.

Through the Lakers' frequent successes and occasional struggles, Buss never stopped living his Hollywood dream. He was an avid poker player, frequently participating in high-stakes tournaments, and a fixture on the Los Angeles club scene well into his 70s, when a late-night drunk-driving arrest in 2007 - with a 23-year-old woman in the passenger seat of his Mercedes-Benz - prompted him to cut down on his partying.

Buss owned the NHL's Kings from 1979-87, and the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks also won two league titles under Buss' ownership. He also owned Los Angeles franchises in World Team Tennis and the Major Indoor Soccer League.

Buss' children moved into leadership roles with the Lakers in their father's later years. Jim Buss, the Lakers' executive vice president of player personnel and the second of Buss' six children, has taken over much of the club's primary decision-making responsibilities in the last few years, while daughter Jeanie is a longtime executive on the franchise's business side - and Ja ckson's longtime companion.

Yet Jerry Buss served two terms as President of the NBA's Board of Governors, and was actively involved in the 2011 lockout negotiations, developing blood clots in his legs attributed to his extensive travel during that time.

ANDREW DALTON, Associated Press


Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Published by Daily Press on Feb. 18, 2013.
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85 Entries
I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of mr .Jerry buss the owner of the Lakers may the God of tender mercies grant him peace
March 12, 2020
Ann M Stokman
March 11, 2017
Valenda Newell
September 8, 2016
After he died the lakers went on a win streak
Ben Chi
February 12, 2014
Levi Dezern
October 5, 2013
Thank you for The Lakers, a wonderful team. I have many wonderful memories of the championship games. I loved all the guys on the team even when my team lost to them. All the guys were class acts.
Nazarene Mckinney
March 30, 2013
Jerry Buss was not only an Amazing Man but a true lover of our little Fish House in Carlsbad. Jerry had been a Loyal customer of ours since we opened the doors in 1994. I have had the wonderful pleasure of serving Jerry through the years and getting to know his friends and family. From all of us at Fish House Veracruz we Thank You for loving us. With sympathy and gratitude to have been touched by such a spirit. Jerry you are missed! xoxo
Gina Severino
March 25, 2013
God Bless the family.
John Lowder! M.D.
March 9, 2013
Dear Buss family, please accept my deepest condolences for the loss of Mr. Buss. May you find comfort in knowing that God cares and is always near. Please know that soon our creator God will end all suffering, pain, death and we have the hope of being reunited with our loved one's.
Lynn Harmon
March 3, 2013
dr jerry buss i never met you i sure wish i had from t.v. land i could only feel what people witness rest in peace...
deborah pierce
February 28, 2013
God bless
Lora Montoya, villegas family, castor families
February 26, 2013
my mother in wisconsin died the same day. rest in peace everyone.
February 26, 2013
My deepest sympathy goes out to the family of Mr. Buss. I know this must be s very difficult time for you. May the memories of the good times bring you much comfort during this difficult time. Also the comfort from Gods Word.
Milly
February 26, 2013
love is like the sun u cant always see it but u know its there. RIP DR JERRY BUSS!
angelia oxendine
February 25, 2013
Thoughts & prayers with the Buss family. -Matthew 22:32
Lillian G.
February 25, 2013
My condolences to the Buss Family. May God give you power beyond what is normal to help you to endure. 2 Corinthians 4:7.
February 25, 2013
My condolences to the Buss Family and friends. May God comfort you during this difficult time.
February 21, 2013
as the bible says at luke 43:23 we will see Jerry in paradise
February 21, 2013
Dr Buss Family,
Heartfelt condolences. Dr Buss will truly be missed.
Your Laker Family, Julian and Terreia Hamer
T Hamer
February 21, 2013
No words could truly express or explain what a family goes through with the loss of a close family member.Mr. Buss touched us all.Lots of love to the family and the whole Laker Nation,we all share in the loss of Mr. Buss.
Charles W. Bouyer,Sr.
February 21, 2013
MARLO LOUD
February 21, 2013
My deepest condolences to the Buss family n Lakers nation
Nicole Ortega
February 21, 2013
My heart goes out to the Buss family...Dr.Buss will truly be MISSED...i will never 4get him an what he has done for pro basketball an for the many...many PEOPLE that he HELPED go to college...an the other foundations he gave $ too...RestInParadise DR.JERRY BUSS :(
Marlo Loud
February 21, 2013
I will be ever greatful to Jerry Buss for being the best owner a sports franchise could ask for. Nothing but fond memories of Showtime. I will always keep that special time in my heart as it will always remind me of the connection I had with my Dad. Listening to Chick Hearn on radio and watching on tv with the the orchestra leader Magic Johnson. It was poetry in motion. A truly special era. We finally defeated Boston even after the Memorial Day massacre and giving another title away in 84. Thank you to Jerry Buss. He built the only winning team we had a still have in Southern California, the envy of No Cal. He did it with style and grace and didn't get in the way. I know the family will continue his legacy. Laker fans need to stand by the family. The media will try hard to pull us apart. We need to push for a West Coast commissioner. My condolences to the Buss family. I am sure he lived a happy life. He helped bring the joy of team basketball to So Cal. Lakers forever!
John Marton
February 21, 2013
To the Buss family and Lakers nation. May God bless and keep you in this time of sorrow.
Eric Grimes
February 21, 2013
WITH OUR DEEPEST THOUGHTS AND OUR WARMEST FEELING, WE REGRET THE PASSING OF OUR BELOVED OWNER, DR. JERRY BUSS. WE SAY TO OUR LA LAKER FAMILY, JUST CARRY ON HIS LEGACY, WHAT A GREAT HUMANBEING,R.I.P. DR. BUSS!!!
LEE DORSEY
February 21, 2013
My deepest sympathy to Jerry"s children for the loss of your dad.May God confort you in your sorrow.He was a beautiful man I"m blessed to have known him.R.I.P and thank you for the memories.Your friend carolyn from hollywood park.
Carolyn Loud
February 20, 2013
Our sympathy goes out to the Buss Family at this difficult time. Your Dad was Great for LA and for SC. Fight on Dr.
Buss!! Sincerely, Bill, Cindy
Cynthia France
February 20, 2013
My sincere condolence for the loss of Jerry your dear loved one. May your fond memories of him bring back good thoughts. Peace and love to your family and friends, and to the spirit that you show. [email protected]
B Lucas
February 20, 2013
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
February 20, 2013
May you find comfort in the Hearer of prayer. Psalm 65:2
February 20, 2013
Loranda Williams
February 20, 2013
The God of comfort will be with you during this tough time.

2 Corithains 1:3-5
February 20, 2013
Dr.Buss, Brandon Davis and Jammie Miller will miss u so so much. Jager call us and if u need something we are here for u. 909-203-9407
Brandon Davis
February 20, 2013
Thank you Dr. Buss for Showtime,you sir were simply the best owner in sport past, present or future,God Bless LAKER NATION.
Shadow
February 19, 2013
Thank you for your contribution to changing the game..
Monroe Family
February 19, 2013
Rest in the Lord's hands, Dr. Buss. Everyone down here is doing all right. No more worries.

To Jim and Jager, I will always be here for you. Please let me know if there's anything I could help you with.

Love,
Lisa Cabrera (858) 736-1300
Lisa Cabrera
February 19, 2013
There will never be a team owner like Dr Buss again.

From the Fabulous Forum to the Staple Center.......The Greatest Show on the hardwood.

Now he is with Chick Hearn and Wilt Chamberlain sitting front row.
Magic Thayer
February 19, 2013
From Labor to Reward
Elizabeth Thomas
February 19, 2013
A man with a great vision he carried it out to its fullest You will be missed A AVID lAKER FAN FOR LIFE.
PaUL Walker
February 19, 2013
Rest in Peace
Scott Chamberland
February 19, 2013
Buss Family, please accept my warm love and deep sympathy and condolences for Jerry. He was such a positive, caring, funny, courageous, kind-hearted and just plain outstanding guy. His humble, happy and honorable spirit will never ever be forgotten in my heart. We will miss him very, very much. I know Jerry will truly be safe in God's memory until He brings him back to life to enjoy perfect health and youthful vigor forever in His coming paradise on earth very soon!
Anthony Mitchell
February 19, 2013
rip
michelle plakas-kaiser
February 19, 2013
To the family of Mr. Jerry Buss, to the Lakers. You'll have lost a Great human.being who gave so much to other, other than himself and his family. A wonderful businessman and owner of the Lakers, Kings and other sports teams.

I take this occasion to express my condolences on behalf of myself and my family. I know he will be gravely missed, but rest assure that he is at rest, and with those great cloud of witness, watching over you all.

May God's peace and grace be with you all during this time.
Wendell G. Dean II
February 19, 2013
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Psalm 34:18
February 19, 2013
Rest in Peace Dr Buss
Jason R
February 19, 2013
To the Buss family:
My condolences for the loss of Jerry. His drive and mind brought about one of the best NBA organizations. May God's Word strengthen you during this difficult time. (Isa. 41:10,13)
T Crawford
February 19, 2013
rip Dr Buss
carmen nelson mccurdy cousin of James Worthy mccurdy
February 19, 2013

My deepest and sincerest condolences to the Dr. Jerry Buss and his loving family and the Lakers family. Jerry Buss was one of the greatest owners in the history of professional sports, the creator of the most entertaining championship teams ever, a fearless pioneer who bonded a giant and disparate city under a brilliant blanket of purple and gold. I thanked you so much for everything you had done a great in bringing a Lakers to a winning way. Because no one will replace like you. Best owner than anyone in sports world. In my 25 years and counting of faithful Lakers fan, I will continue to support Lakers team forever which I truly love Lakers very much. RIP, Jerry, but NEVER FORGOTTEN!
Tommy Lacy
February 19, 2013
What a great guy, my deepest and sincerest condolences to the buss family. Chester campbell memphis tennessee
Chester Campbell
February 19, 2013
Jerry will surly be miss he was a icon of basketball he made the Lakers, and made a name for the city of LA. May Jehovah Grant you and Your Family Comfort.
M Scott
February 19, 2013
My sincere condolences for your loss.Isaia 33:24 said soon no habitant of the earth will say there sick.
February 19, 2013
RIP Jerry thank you for the love of laker fans. There was no price on show time just smiles !!! God bless the family and Jerry
P Padilla
February 19, 2013
Rest in eternal peace. Your family is in my prayers.
LAURA NEWREN
February 19, 2013
Godspeed Mr. Buss.
Sheila Smith
February 19, 2013
Turley an inspiration! Condolences to all the family I love my LAKERS!
So happy for this organization and what they've become
Lakers People
February 19, 2013
My deepest and sincerest condolences to the Buss family. Jerry will truly be missed
Mrs Parisi
February 19, 2013
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
S.Griggs
February 18, 2013
rip
February 18, 2013
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
EG
February 18, 2013
May The Lord send You His Peace.
May The Lord send Family/Friends Peace.
Olivia De Anda
February 18, 2013
Jerry Buss was truly an inspiration and a visionary, he lived life fully and happily. He took over a good franchise and made it into the best franchise, much like his path from childhood he never forgot who he was at heart. today we have lost a truly great man whose legacy will live on forever.
Taylor Goldman
February 18, 2013
Jerry Russ
R.I.P.
Richard Herrick
February 18, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Buss family. May God bless
Mary
February 18, 2013
Dr. Buss invented "Showtime", with his savvy player trade deals. His keen eye for talent will be missed. The Buss Family, the Lakers organization, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and all former players under Dr. Buss, have my deepest sympathy. Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.
Vicki Hicks
February 18, 2013
Jerry Buss was a great visionary and business man. Loved his family and was the best owner in team sports! Praying for his family! God bless!
Charles Quinn
February 18, 2013
Mrs. Jeannie Buss & Family,
My prayers and condolences for your overwhelming sense of loss and pain. My father, Frank "Alfred" Tamayo, deceased, (1-28-29 to 10-29-07) also grew up in Kemmerer, WY and graduated from Kemmerer High School. My father left Kemmerer to attend college at Dickinson ND with the help of his high school coach, whose father had ties to the college. My father's athletic ability served him well as he lettered all 4 years in 3 sports and was one of 2 athletes to first achieve that recognition. He still holds the record for the most points scored in a football game set in 1949. He also made it into the "Hall of Fame" 2 times. All because a high school coach saw potential in a kid from Kemmerer who happened to be poor. My father was always proud of Jerry's accomplishments and success, especially because Jerry was also from Kemmerer, WY and graduated from Kemmerer High School. May your memories of your husband/father ease your pain through this most difficult time. God bless your family.
Pamela Tamayo Stenehjem
February 18, 2013
THANKS FOR A LOT OF PROUD MOMENTS FOR THE LAKERS AND HOPE EVERYONE KNOWS HOW MUCH HE DID FOR SO MANY POOR PEOPLE OF ALL RACES AND CREED!REST IN PEACE!
SARKI ADELABU
February 18, 2013
SARKI ADELABU
February 18, 2013
BasketballTopFan and basketball fans worldwide would like to offer our sympathy and condolences to the family of Jerry Buss.

Mr. Buss brought glamor,glitz and showtime to the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Los Angles Lakers.

The sport of basketball owes this iconic owner a debt of gratitude for his many contributions.

RIP !!!

BasketballTopFan
BasketballTopFan
February 18, 2013
Our prayers go out to Mr. Jerry Buss family as well as all our laker family .We have had the pleasure of being lakers season ticket holders for 16 years . Mr buss has given so much to the city of Los Angeles and the laker fans from around the world . He shared his dream and we are forever grateful . We will continue own with supporting his dream . Go lakers !!!!!!!
Darryl and Karen Glover
February 18, 2013
You will be remembered
donald jones
February 18, 2013
Condolences to the family of Mr. Buss, he was a friend, a class act, and a man I learned a lot from.
Michael Sandberg
February 18, 2013
Godspeed
February 18, 2013
A great loss to basketball
Lenny Ladner
February 18, 2013
I myself is a newcomer to Jerry's team, but my husban is not. He came to me sadden by the news of his passing. Family there is a time for healing, God is with you lean on Him. Psalm 25:2 Oh my God; I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
Leon & Mary Bonds
February 18, 2013
The best thing that happened to the Lakers, is that you became their owner, and even though I am not from LA, I am forever a Laker fan, because of you Mr. Buss, rest in peace, and may God assign you a team in heaven.
Marcus Willingham
February 18, 2013
Rest in Peace and God Bless... BRANDENBERG FAMILY
ELAINE BRANDENBERG
February 18, 2013
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
William Fowler
February 18, 2013
Thank you for bringing "SHOWTIME" to the Lakers. You saved a failing NBA with your style of ownership that others had to follow. I'm a "LAKER" fan for life!!!!!!!!!!!
Marvin Green
February 18, 2013
Rest in peace.
Laker Fan
February 18, 2013
To Jeanie and the Buss Family:

I had the honor and privilege to meet your father, when I invited him 28 years ago to throw out the "First Ball" prior to an NCAA Division II College World Series Game. He could have said "no", but he drove out (along with Bob Steiner) and couldn't have been nicer. He was honored that night as an "American Sports Legend" and it felt good to bestow that honor upon him. He was in great company too, for on another night we honored Chuck "The Rifleman" Connors.

More importantly, he had a great time. So good, in fact, he later mentioned it in an interview in the Los Angeles Times.

I never had the chance to see him again after that, but will never forget the joy it brought him and me, for having made the right choice and extend the invitation and for his acceptance.

He was a true gentleman and was gracious and polite. He took time to get to know me and I treasure it as one of the most emotional moments of my life.

I join all of you in mourning his loss, but celebrating his championship life!
May many fond memories of him console you in the days ahead.
Dave Mann
February 18, 2013
Mr Buss, I hope your passage to the next plane and dimension of existence is as smooth and pleasant as a drive down a coastal California highway in your convertible, on a sunny day, with the top down and the music playing. Thanks for all the sports memories between the men in Purple and Gold and the men in Green. I know your family will carry on the great tradition you built with the LA Lakers and keep your spirit alive in their hearts and in all they do. Peace Tim Carrigan Quincy,Massachusetts
Timothy Carrigan
February 18, 2013
Please accept my condolence, My thoughts and prayers are with your family in your time of grief. May your memeories of Jerry bring you comfort.May God bring you peace. Romans 15:33
Phillip Stewart
February 18, 2013
R.I.P. Dr Buss........You will be missed dearly...My prayers to the Buss family ,...It is a very sad day in the Laker's nation...
Michael Mansour
February 18, 2013
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