18
Feb
13

LEGENDARY OWNER OF L.A. LAKERS, JERRY BUSS; HAS DIED AT AGE 80

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VIA: WWW.ROLLINGOUT.COM

Jerry Buss, the legendary owner of the Los Angeles Lakers during the most successful stretch in team history that produced 10 NBA championships, has died from cancer. He was 80 years old.

Buss was a self-made multimillionaire and real estate magnate who bought the Lakers the same year that Magic Johnson won the NCAA championship at Michigan State in 1979 and was selected No. 1 overall by the Lakers. With Magic Johnson as the key component in the iconic “Showtime” years, the Lakers became the most successful franchise of the modern era — by far — going to eight championship series in 10 years and winning five titles during the 1980s.

Under Buss’ watch, the Lakers would recreate that dynasty at the turn of the 21st century behind Bryant and O’Neal, winning three championships in four years and appearing in four title games. 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 such as Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Johnson, James Worthy, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant that attracted A-list celebrities courtside and turned the Great Western Forum (and then Staples Center) into the epicenter of American basketball.

“I really tried to create a Laker image, a distinct identity,” Buss said. “I mean, the Lakers are pretty damn Hollywood.”

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