Jerry Buss dies at 80: Magic Johnson & NBA players remember the Great Lakers Owner
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This isn’t just a sad day in Laker land or in LA this is a sad day for the sports world and the business world. Jerry Buss has been struggling with cancer for much of the past two years and he was announced dead by the Lakers organization this morning at the age of 80.
Buss bought the Lakers along with the Kings in 1979 for $67.5 million and after 10 championships and a who’s who of NBA legends ranging from Magic to Kareem to Shaq to Kobe, the most popular franchise among the stars is now worth a billion dollars. Aside from the hall of fame players he hired the greatest GM of all-time in Jerry West and two of the best coaches of all-time – Pat Riley and Phil Jackson.
Most praise him for being a great owner and busineesman but he was also a mentor to Magic Johnson who is probably the best businessman in basketball now.
“He allowed me to look at the books. He took me through the books. That’s the reason I’m a businessman today, because of Dr. Buss. He allowed me to buy into the Lakers,” Johnson said. (Next to the championships) … it was my second greatest moment, owning the Lakers. I’m indebted to him.
“He is a man that touched so many peoples’ lives. He allowed me to be one of the Buss boys.”
There’s never a good time to die but as a Lakers fan since 1988 it hurts to know that he left in what I consider the most disastrous Lakers season ever….so far.