LOS ANGELES –
Jerry Buss, the longtime owner of the Lakers whose penchant for showmanship helped turn the game of basketball into “Showtime” and who led the team to 10 NBA championships, died Monday. He was 79.
Last week, it was revealed that Buss was hospitalized in the intensive care unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with an undisclosed form of cancer.
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.”