Most of you will remember very well the shock that we had almost a year ago today when the news that Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss had passed away due to his fight with cancer. The news was brought with such sadness due to the man that he was and what he had achieved for himself, his family, friends and of course the game of basketball.
It had been a fairly well kept secret that Buss had been diagnosed with cancer but that was to change when the news was leaked that his health had been seriously declining just days before his death. The news was given to his family and friends personally first and foremost after they were called to his bedside on the 14th.
He eventually died just four days later on the 18th at the age of 80.
The Life Of Buss
Jerry Buss was a success long before he got involved in basketball, with this success coming as a real estate magnate before he turned his eyes to other types of sport.
His first involvement in sports team ownership came in the seventies when he owned the LA Strings World Team Tennis. The league for that sport eventually went defunct back in 1978 before he then really started to make a difference to sport in L.A.
Just a year later in’79 he bought two LA teams in one go from the same guy. He acquired the LA Lakers basketball team, the LA Kings ice hockey team and the LA Forum which was the stadium that both teams played in.
It was his impact at the Lakers that really marks him down as a great man. When he bought the Lakers, they had not won a single championship since 1972, something that Buss planned to change as quickly as possible. Well, nobody expected to be as quickly as his first season as the owner. Since then he added another 9 championships during his time as owner.
Among the players that played in those teams under him were the likes of Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and the latest superstar Kobe Bryant.
In 2010 Jerry Buss was rightly inducted into the Basketball Hall Of Fame due to his contribution to the game throughout his life.
Buss was also a very keen poker player and would often play against the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson and Huck Seed during friendly home games. He was also often seen playing on the late night high stakes poker television shows alongside some of the highly esteemed Full Tilt Poker pros. He was actually a very good poker player as mentioned regularly by Mr Hellmuth himself.
It might be a year already since Jerry has died but his legacy will always continue throughout the whole of not only the Lakers but basketball itself.
There will never be another man like Jerry Buss, that we can be certain of.