In this June 18, 1981 file photo, Jerry Buss holds a Los Angeles Lakers shirt in Los Angeles. Buss, the Lakers’ playboy owner who shepherded the NBA franchise to 10 championships, has died. He was 79. Credit: Uncredited/AP
Jerry Buss, the Los Angeles Lakers owner who led the team to 10 NBA championships died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Monday, he was 80. When Buss purchased the Lakers in 1979 he had a vision of the ‘showtime’ era and immediately drafted Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson out of Michigan State. Johnson, along with Buss, went on to be part of 10 Lakers Championships as a player and owner. Under Buss’ leadership, the Lakers became part of the landscape of Southern California, bringing in names like Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, and Dwight Howard.
During Buss’ reign, the Lakers were the NBA’s most successful franchise. Many former and current players formed strong bonds with the well-liked Buss. He was regarded as a very generous and highly revered owner. Buss was a trailblazer in the NBA and one of the first owners to sell naming rights to his arena, the forum. He also turned the forum into not only a place to see games, but a place to be seen.
Narda Zacchino, editor of “The Los Angeles Lakers: 50 Amazing Years in the City of Angels”(Time Capsule Press)
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