Jerry Buss constructed a glittering life at the crossroads of sports and Hollywood. After growing up in poverty in Wyoming, he earned success in academia, aerospace, and real estate before discovering his favorite pastime when he bought the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979. While Buss wrote the checks and fostered partnerships with two generations of basketball greats, the Lakers won 10 NBA titles and became a glamorous global brand. Buss, who shepherded his NBA team from the Showtime dynasty of the 1980’s to the current Bryant era while becoming one of the most important and successful owners in pro sports, died Monday. He was 80.Under Buss’ leadership; the star-studded, trophy-winning Lakers became Southern California’s most beloved sports franchise and a signature cultural representation of Los Angeles. Buss acquired, nurtured, and befriended a staggering array of talented players and basketball minds during his Hall of Fame tenure, from Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy to Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Dwight Howard.
By: Joseph Pedraza