Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss dies
By Mark Morgenstein
LOS ANGELES -(CNN) — Basketball Hall of Fame member Jerry Buss, who had owned the Los Angeles Lakers since the National Basketball Association franchise’s resurgence and dominance began in 1979, died in Los Angeles on Monday morning, a Cedars-Sinai hospital spokeswoman said. He was 80.
Buss died at 5:55 a.m., said the spokeswoman, Nicole White. He had been in poor health, suffering from an unspecified type of cancer.
The Lakers won 10 NBA titles under Buss’ ownership. Those championship teams featured such all-time greats as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
“The NBA has lost a visionary owner whose influence on our league is incalculable and will be felt for decades to come. More importantly, we have lost a dear and valued friend,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement.
“He was a dear friend, keen mentor and brilliant businessman,” said O’Neal, who played eight seasons for the Lakers. “He’ll always be remembered for his dedication in bringing the best to the purple and gold and I’m proud to have been part of his honorable legacy.”
The franchise will remain in the hands of the Buss family, the team said in a statement.
Buss is survived by four sons and two daughters, among others.
CNN’s Paul Vercammen contributed to this report from Los Angeles, and Mark Morgenstein wrote it in Atlanta.
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