By Jane Nambi
Jerry Buss, the owner of Los Angeles Lakers has died aged 80.
The Lakers announced his death saying he had been hospitalized with cancer for much of the last 18 months.
Buss rose to fame when he bought Lakers from Jack Kent Cooke. Lakers came with a package including the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League, the Forum sports arena in Los Angeles and Mr. Cooke’s California ranch. He bought them at $67.5 million.
He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. Despite his sickness, Buss made sure his family continued running the business, even after he left the face of the earth. His daughter Jeanie, who became engaged to Mr. Jackson in December 2012, runs the business operations while his son Jim oversees basketball decisions together with General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
Born Gerald Hatten Buss on Jan. 27, 1933 in Salt Lake City, Mr. Buss grew up in Kemmerer, Wyo., raised by his divorced mother and worked as a waitress. He grew up during the times of the Great Depression and managed to turn himself into a multi millionaire who used to spend lavishly.
When he gave tMr. Johnson a 25-year, $25 million contract after his second season in 2009, Mr. Buss said, “Anybody who makes an outlandish salary obviously attracts attention. That was what was behind my contract with Magic. I think it created a lot of attention for the Lakers.”
David Stern, the N.B.A. commissioner on Monday called Mr. Buss a “visionary owner whose influence on our league is incalculable.”
Today, The Lakers have won 10 league championships.