LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss has died at age 80.
Spokesman Bob Steiner says Buss died Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He’d been hospitalized for cancer, but the immediate cause of death was kidney failure.
Buss shepherded the NBA franchise to 10 championships. He transformed the Lakers into Southern California’s most beloved sports franchise and a worldwide extension of Hollywood glamour after buying the club in 1979.
Buss acquired, nurtured and befriended a staggering array of talent during his Hall of Fame tenure, starting with his first draft pick, Magic Johnson.
With Buss’ leadership and lavish spending, the Lakers won five championships during the 1980s Showtime dynasty and added five more in an 11-year span of Kobe Bryant’s career.
Jerry Buss’ Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech:
Twitter reacts to news of Buss’ death:
RIP Jerry Buss. Your encouragement and support along with your stories of staying true to yourself had an enormous impact on me.—
Mark Cuban (@mcuban) February 18, 2013
RIP Dr Jerry Buss—
Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) February 18, 2013
Dr. Jerry Buss (RIP)—
Arsenio Hall (@ArsenioHall) February 18, 2013
The maestro of Showtime is gone. The NBA has seen an array of characters over the decades, but nothing quite like Jerry Buss.—
Roland Lazenby (@lazenby) February 18, 2013
RIP Jerry Buss, who made those years at the Forum the most outrageous, decadent and fun time a sportswriter could have.—
Rick Reilly (@ReillyRick) February 18, 2013