From Rey Moralde, Lakers Nation: The NBA and the Los Angeles Lakers have lost a treasure. Jerry Buss, the longtime owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, has passed away at the age of 80 on Monday morning. He had been having health problems over the past few years and finally succumbed to cancer on February 18th, 2013. Jerry Buss has owned the Lakers since 1979, purchasing it from Jack Kent Cooke. Buss also purchased the Los Angeles Kings from Cooke before selling it to Bruce McNall. He’s considered one of the most successful owners in sports as he has overseen 10 NBA championships. It’s because of this excellence that he was enshrined into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA: The Los Angeles Lakers on Monday lost their patriarch, Dr. Jerry Buss. Buss was long the symbol of stability for a franchise that has had its fair share of Hollywood drama throughout the years. Where will the Lakers go without his guiding presence? Here are six questions to be answered in the near future:
From Bill Plaschke, LA Times: Jerry Buss was one of the greatest owners in the history of professional sports, the creator of the most entertaining championship teams ever, a fearless pioneer who bonded a giant and disparate city under a brilliant blanket of purple and gold. Yet he felt that watching the Lakers was like watching his children. ”It’s a tearful experience sometimes,” he once said. Jerry Buss was the showman behind Showtime, the man who won 10 NBA championships by signing some of the greatest and most glitzy players ever, from Magic Johnson to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, from Shaquille O’Neal to Kobe Bryant. Yet, during a lunch at his home several years ago, he spoke most fondly of Kwame Brown.
From Kevin Ding, OC Register: As saddening as Jerry Buss’ death Monday was for Lakers fans, his hope would be that nothing in the future makes him overly missed by those who avidly follow the team. Buss wanted the Lakers to stay in the family, so he long ago turned over business operations to daughter Jeanie, 51, and in recent years had son Jim, 53, making the decisions on the basketball side. Buss arranged to pass his 66 percent controlling ownership in the Lakers to his six children in one entity via his trust. “There is huge willingness to continue this in the Buss family,” said Bob Steiner, family spokesman, on Monday. With both Jeanie and Jim groomed to handle their roles, the immediate future should feel the same as they did when Jerry was still around to make final decisions – although there is valid reason to wonder how – or for how long – Jim and Jeanie, who have not gotten along recently, will settle for sharing control.
From David Leon Moore, USA Today: Jerry Buss, in Los Angeles, was simply synonymous with championships. He loved to party and gamble and travel and savor the many flavors of the world, but he also loved to win, and he did what he could to keep the Los Angeles Lakers adding to their NBA titles. Buss, 80, died early Monday after battling cancer for a long time, and his death will be felt deeply in the Lakers family and throughout the NBA. He was generous with players, generally treating them like royalty during and after their careers. “Dr. Buss loved the Lakers,” said Magic Johnson, one of Buss’ favorite players and a rookie when Buss bought the team. “He loved to play poker. He loved his women, I’ve got to say that. He loved winning for the fans of L.A. He would do anything to win championships for the people of L.A.”