Los Angeles Lakers Owner Jerry Buss Dies: Jerry Buss built a brilliant life at the intersection of sports and Hollywood. His impact is felt throughout the world.
After growing up in poverty in Wyoming, was successful in academia, aerospace and real estate before discovering his favorite vocation when he bought the Lakers in 1979. While Buss wrote the checks and promoted partnerships with two generations of great basketball, the Lakers won 10 NBA titles and became a glamorous global brand.
Buss, who led his team to the NBA Showtime dynasty of the 1980s to the present era of Bryant while becoming one of the most important and successful owners in professional sports, died Monday at the age of 80.
” Think of the impact it has had on the game and the decisions he has made, and the brand of basketball brought here with Showtime and the impact it had on the sport in general,” Bryant said last week. “Those vibrations were felt for a child to finish in Italy, I was 6, “he added, referring to himself,” before it was even global basketball”.
Few owners in sports history can approach Buss achievements with the Lakers, who made the NBA Finals 16 times during his nearly 34 years in office, winning 10 titles between 1980 and 2010. What were under surveillance Lakers Buss, did it big: with star players, amazing style and a relentless pursuit of success with little regard to its financial cost.
” Their incredible commitment and desire to build a championship caliber team that could sustain success over a long period of time has been unprecedented” said Jerry West, the veteran CEO Buss and now a consultant with the Warriors Golden State. ” With all his accomplishments, Jerry was certainly one of the most humble men have been around. His vision was second to none, wanted a franchise in the NBA who represents the best and went to each end to achieve its objectives”.
Buss died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said Bob Steiner, his assistant and longtime friend. Buss had been hospitalized for most of the past 18 months, while patients with cancer, but the cause of death was kidney failure, said Steiner.
” When someone as famous and charismatic as Jerry Buss dies, it reminds us of two things,” said Abdul-Jabbar, the leading scorer in NBA history. ” First, to what extent a person with vision and will power can accomplish”. Second, the fragility of each of us, no matter how powerful they were. Those two things combine to inspire us to reach for the stars, but to stay with their feet firmly on the ground between our loved ones. The man may be gone, but has caused people to know us better.
With its decline in recent months, several prominent former Lakers Buss visited say goodbye. Even rivals like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Clippers owner Donald Sterling praised the passion and bonhomie of former chemist and mathematician who lived his dream of Hollywood.
” He was a great man and a great friend,” Johnson tweeted.
Buss always referred to the Lakers as his family, and his players rewarded their enthusiasm in a fan with devotion, friendship and the two hands full of championship rings. Working with front-office executives West, Bill Sharman and Mitch Kupchak, Buss spent lavishly to win titles despite not having a huge personal fortune, often at highest payroll in the NBA, while also paying the high profile coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson.
” Jerry Buss was more than one owner. He was one of the great innovators that any sport has ever met,” said Riley. ” It was a true visionary, and it was obvious that the Lakers in the 80’s ‘Showtime’ was more than Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It was really a vision of a man who saw something that connects to a community.”
The ownership of the Lakers is now in a trust controlled by six children Buss, who all worked for the Lakers in various capacities for several years. With 1786 wins, the Lakers are easily winningest franchise in the NBA since he bought the club, which is now run primarily by Jeanie Buss and Jim Buss.
” Not only have we lost our beloved father, but a man beloved of our community and a respected person in the world basketball community,” said Buss family in a statement released by the Lakers.
“It was frequently cited desire of our father and the expectation that the Lakers are still in the Buss family. The Lakers also have been our lives, and we will fulfill your desire and do everything in our power to continue its unparalleled legacy”.
Johnson and fellow Hall of Fame Worthy Abdul-Jabbar and formed lasting relationships with Buss during the execution of the Lakers to five titles in nine years in the 1980s, when the Lakers won the reputation of being the most exciting team basketball his new Showtime reply.
“Anyone associated with the NBA since 1980 has benefited greatly from Jerry Buss impact on the game” said Steiner. “He had a different way of seeing things that I did, and the people who were raised in basketball.”
Buss paid bills Lakers both through its highly successful and innovative moves to increase revenue. He was co-founder of a basic network-sports television and sold the naming rights to the Forum at a time when both strategies were unusual now standard, and justify his induction into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
“The NBA has lost a visionary owner whose influence is incalculable in our league and will be felt for decades to come,” said NBA commissioner David Stern.” More importantly, we have lost a dear friend and valued .”
Showtime could not last forever, but after a slump in the 1990s, revived the mystical Buss of the Lakers by paying sums of money to hire Jackson, who led O’Neal and Bryant to a three peat from 2000-02. Bryant and Pau Gasol won two titles in Jackson in 2009 and 2010.
” Today is a very sad day for all Lakers and basketball,” Gasol tweeted. ” All my support and condolences to the family Buss. Rest in peace Dr. Buss.”
Although Buss rose to fame and fortune one with the Lakers, who was also a scholar, Renaissance man and bon vivant who personified cool California throughout his public life.
After a difficult childhood and troubled, which included periods as a ditch digger and a button in the icy winters Wyoming, Buss earned a doctorate in chemistry from USC at age 24, and had a career in the aerospace industry and development real estate before entering the sport. With money from their real estate business and a good bit of creative accounting, Buss bought the Lakers after-fight, the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and the arena of both clubs, the Forum, the Jack Kent Cooke in agreement $ 67.5 million was the largest transaction in sports history at the time.
Overall, the Lakers to the finals nine times in the first 12 seasons Buss while rekindle best rivalry in the NBA with the Boston Celtics, and the Buss enjoyed worldwide fame he received from his team’s achievements . His party became the material of Los Angeles legends, even with players struggling to keep up with the lifestyle Buss.
Johnson’s HIV diagnosis and staggered retirement in 1991 and the Lakers Buss, the owner recalled in 2011. The Lakers went through seven coaches and made a single appearance in a final conference eight years of the 1990s despite the 1996 arrivals of O’Neal, who signed with Los Angeles as a free agent, and Bryant, 17 year-old high school student acquired in an exchange of current week.
Shaq and Kobe did not reach its full potential until convinced Jackson Buss, the six-time NBA champion coach Chicago Bulls, to take over the Lakers in 1999. Los Angeles immediately won the next three NBA titles in Staples Center brand new, state of the art center built AEG arena with the Lakers as the main tenant.
Buss owned Kings of the NHL from 1979 to 1987, and Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA won two league titles in Buss property. He also owned franchises in the Los Angeles World Team Tennis and Major League Indoor Soccer.
Buss children have pledged to continue their commitment to the success distinctive Lakers, despite their efforts have been rewarded in the past three years while Jerry Buss yielded many decision-making responsibilities to Jim Buss, president of the Lakers executive vice president of player personnel and the second oldest children. While Jeanie daughter runs off the franchise business, Jim Buss now has the final say on basketball decisions.
Jerry Buss still served two terms as President of the Board of Governors of the NBA and has actively participated in the negotiations of 2011 lockout, the development of blood clots in the legs attributed to his numerous trips during that time.
“I am blessed with a wonderful family who have helped me and guided me every step of the way,” Buss said in 2010 in the Hall of Fame induction ceremony”. This is the best support anyone could ever have.
Buss is survived by his six children: sons Johnny, Jim, Joey and Jesse, and daughters Jeanie Buss and Janie Drexel. He had eight grandchildren.