Laker owner, Jerry Buss, died today. The official cause of death was kidney failure, but Buss had been hospitalized over the past 18 months for cancer treatment. Buss purchased the Lakers in 1979 and led the team to 10 titles under his leadership.
Watch Jerry Buss’ NBA Hall of Fame Speech
Buss purchased the Lakers in 1979 and led the team to 10 titles under his leadership. Buss was a sports guy at heart also owning a hockey team, indoor soccer team, tennis team. Buss was a model owner staying out f the limelight, instead choosing to empower the right people to do the job. Buss’ track record as owner is impeccable, he hired Jerry West to run his team, and then hired the team’s color analyst, Pat Riley, to coach the team with no previous head coaching experience. Under Buss the Lakers would always somehow end up with the best players. They had Magic and Kareem, but after they were gone they signed Shaq and had the foresight to draft Kobe.
After they got rid of Shaq everyone thought that it was over, but they somehow got Pau Gasol. People talk about how one-sided that trade was, but people forget that the Lakers gave up Marc Gasol, whom the Lakers drafted in the second round, and is currently one of the building blocks for Memphis Grizzly franchise, so that trade wasn’t one-sided. Under the Buss the Lakers were one step ahead of everyone else. Jerry Buss has been too ill to attend any games this year, so obviously he hasn’t been involved in any basketball decisions but it makes you wonder if the Lakers would be going through all of this Dwightmare drama if Jerry Buss had been around more. Today is not just a sad day for the Laker’s organization, but basketball as well. People like Jerry Buss don’t come around often and he will be missed. Let’s just hope that his offspring can continue the tradition and honor his memory by maintaining the Laker’s status as one of the flag-ship franchises for the NBA because now is a trying time and it could go either way.
Watch Kobe Bryant speak on Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss
Watch Magic Johnson speak on Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss
Watch Shaquille O’neal speak on Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss