Buss, who had his son Jim Buss to take control of the famed NBA franchise. Jerry Buss purchased the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979 and drafted Michigan State’s Ervin “Magic” Johnson creating the find showtime era of Los Angeles Lakers basketball. One year later the team would win the first of ten championships for owner Buss. 5 championships in the 1980 showtime era, 3 with Shaq and Kobe and an additional two in the last decade. In addition he also started the Laker’s girls which launched the career of such notable personalities such as Paula Abdul.
“Jerry Buss helped set the league on the course it is on today,” NBA CommissionerÂ David SternÂ said. “Remember, he showed us it was about ‘Showtime,’ the notion that an arena can become the focal point for not just basketball, but entertainment. He made it the place to see and be seen.”
Buss, was born on January 27, 1933 in Salt Lake City, Utah. His parents divorced when he was an infant and growing up his mother struggled working as a waitress in Evanston, Wyoming. Buss would graduate from the University of Wyoming after earning a science scholarship.
He invested a small amount of many on a boutique sports franchise called the Los Angeles Strings tennis franchise after he was doing some real estate. Doing so allowed him the opportunity to purchase the famed franchise from Jack Kent Cook for $67 million. The purchase included the Los Angeles Lakers, NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, The Forum in Inglewood, and a ranch owned by Cook.Â Originally never really being interested in owning a sports team just wanting to make enough money to own season tickets.
“I really tried to create a Laker image, a distinct identity,” Buss said. “I mean, the Lakers are pretty damn Hollywood.”Â