Los Angeles Lakers Owner Dr. Jerry Buss Dies At 80
As the NBA returns from the All Star break, sad news comes out of Los Angeles. Dr. Jerry Buss, who bought the Lakers in 1979 and won 10 NBA titles during his ownership, died this morning at the age of 80. Buss is credited for the birth of "Showtime," when the Lakers became so hip that home games were transformed into a celebrity Who's Who. When he purchased the team from Jack Kent Cooke for $67.5 million in 1979, nobody knew if the investment would pay off. The franchise is now worth $1billion, so it is safe to say Buss was a huge success.
The only question now is who will take over control of the team? Buss' daughter, Jeanie operates the business side of the team. Since Jeanie has long been dating former Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, some basketball fans wonder if the Zen Master will take over the team's ownership duties. Buss also has a son, Jim who has been overseeing basketball operations. Considering the huge investments the team made this past offseason (Dwight Howard and Steve Nash), it will be interesting to see what happens to the star-studded team that is currently four games under .500 and 10th overall in the Western Conference.