It was 34 years ago that Jerry Buss purchased the Los Angeles Lakers (among other things) and their Arena, the Forum, for a sum of $67.5 million. After 10 NBA titles under his reign and bringing the franchise to a value of over $1 billion, Dr. Jerry Buss passed away at the age of 79.
Buss has been hospitalized for quite some time due to an undisclosed form of cancer, but the news didn’t breakout until recently due to reports of players visiting their owner, acknowledging that these are his final days.
Jerry was less involved in running the team in recent years, leaving more and more responsibility to his son, Jim Buss, his son, is the executive vice president of player personnel and his daughter, Jeanie Buss, is the team’s executive vice president of business operations. There are more than a few who attribute the decline of the Lakers over the last two-three seasons to Jim Buss making terrible decisions.
The Lakers recently signed a TV deal that ensures them over $200 million a season, which makes the potential luxury tax over the salariesfrom their megalomania project (failing project) not seem that important. Buss has been attributed, partially, with the Showtime era Lakers, some suggesting he inspired that style with his vision that basketball game must be entertaining.