Legendary Lakers owner Jerry Buss has passed away this morning aged 80 with family and friends by his side. Dr. Buss had long been dealing with serious illness but last week it was revealed that he was close to death. Throughout the course of history we have seen many great owners across a wide variety of sports, but none more so than Dr. Buss who bought the Lakers, along with the LA Kings and the Forum Arena for $67.5 million in 1979. Under Buss the Lakers organization has been able to acquire a host of legendary players such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Shaquille O’Neil, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard with Buss long claiming that no matter the cost, winning was what mattered most. Buss oversaw 16 Lakers finals appearances and 10 Lakers titles in his time forging what is known as one of the most successful sporting franchises in sports history.
In a report this morning by RadarOnline.com, it was revealed that long time Lakers owner and franchise legend Dr. Jerry Buss is dying of cancer in a Los Angeles hospital.
“The businessman and billionaire is at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and a source close to the situation tells RadarOnline.com that Lakers players have been calling with well-wishes and even stopping by to see him in what they expect to be his final days.” Said the report.
The report was not clarified by the Lakers, but a source close to the team has now also broken the news. Kevin Ding of the OC Register confirmed the horrific news just moments ago, sending waves of sadness through the Lakers community and indeed the greater NBA fan base. Ding also reiterated the family’s statement last month surrounding future ownership of the team:
“The Buss family released a statement after that piece was published, saying: “We unanimously agree that we have no intention of ever selling the Lakers, and intend to keep ownership of the team in our family for generations to come.”
Dr. Buss has owned the Lakers since 1979 and has overseen 10 World titles in his time. Most recently son Jim Buss and daughter Jeanie have been running the franchise alongside GM Mitch Kupchak.
We’ll keep you posted on any further developments.
After what was thought to be the job only Phil Jackson was going to take, the Los Angeles Lakers made a shock move late Monday night by hiring ex-New York Knicks and Olympic coach Mike D’Antoni. D’Antoni will likely assume control of the team against Phoenix on Friday as he is currently unable to fly to LA due to an existing knee condition he recently had surgery on. This hiring makes a lot of sense to the Lakers who have struggled to get any fluency on offense this season, and with players like Steve Nash, whom D’Antoni has coached before, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard on the team this is sure to be one big offensive juggernaut. Here, we’re breaking down what went wrong with Phil Jackson, and where the Lakers can excel under Mike D’Antoni.
Following the news on Saturday that the LA Lakers had fired head coach Mike Brown, there has been an influx of speculation about how the team will cope with the change, who would take on the challenge as an interim coach and ultimately, who would replace Brown. We’ve seen a very vulnerable Lakers team so far this season and yes, there are some excuses. Dwight Howard’s back, Steve Nash’s Leg, Kobe Bryant’s foot as well as others but the biggest concern amongst many fans was that Mike Brown was still holding his position as head coach.
After the worst start to a season since 1993/94, the Lakers had been very close to pushing the panic button with many people beginning to believe this may be a reincarnation of the much over-hyped team of 2004/05 and not in fact as scary as most thought they would be. Including the preseason, this Lakers team of Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace went 1-12. One single win in 13 games over 5 odd months. This team of superstars found themselves alone at the stone cold bottom of the Western Conference. Granted, it’s early days but fans in LA don’t want to wait. They want to win. Now.