Jerry Buss Dies; Lakers Owner Was 80

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Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who recently checked into the intensive care unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, has passed away from cancer. He was 80 years old.

Buss Pic

A former aerospace engineer and real estate developer, Buss purchased the Lakers, the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and the Forum from Jack Kent Cooke in 1979.

The Lakers won 10 titles under his watch, with Buss earning respect from past and present players such as Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and Kobe Bryant. He was inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.

"He's meant everything to me in my career in terms of taking a risk on a 17-year-old kid coming out of high school and then believing in me my entire career. And then for the game itself, the brand of basketball that he implemented in Showtime carried the league," Bryant said at a news conference during the NBA's All-Star weekend.

Mike Bresnahan, the team's beat writer for The Los Angeles Times, confirmed Buss' passing on Twitter this morning.

Buss is survived by six children. Our thoughts go out to his family and loved ones.

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damnit: WHY JERRY?