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Jerry Buss: The Visionary Owner of the Los Angeles Lakers

Jerry Buss, the influential owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, left a lasting legacy in the world of professional basketball. With his entrepreneurial mindset and passion for the game, Buss revolutionized the sport and led...

Jerry Buss Jerry Buss, the influential owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, left a lasting legacy in the world of professional basketball. With his entrepreneurial mindset and passion for the game, Buss revolutionized the sport and led the Lakers to an unprecedented level of success. Let's take a closer look at the life and accomplishments of this remarkable man.

Early Life and Business Career

Jerry Buss was born on January 27, 1933, in Salt Lake City. Raised by his hardworking mother, Jessie, he developed a strong work ethic from an early age. After moving to Los Angeles, Buss attended the University of Wyoming on a scholarship, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in just two and a half years. He then pursued further education at the University of Southern California, obtaining both a Master's and Ph.D. in physical chemistry by the age of 24.

Despite his impressive academic achievements, Buss found his true calling in the world of real estate. He initially invested in properties to supplement his income as a teacher, but soon realized the immense potential of the industry. Alongside his business partner, Frank Mariani, Buss founded Mariani-Buss Associates, a highly successful real estate investment company. Over the years, Buss amassed a substantial portfolio of properties across Arizona, California, and Nevada.

Sports Team Ownership

Buss's entrepreneurial spirit extended beyond real estate. In 1979, he made a groundbreaking move by purchasing the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Kings, and The Forum from Jack Kent Cooke. This marked the beginning of a new era for the Lakers and the NBA as a whole. Under Buss's ownership, the Lakers became a powerhouse in the league, winning an astonishing 10 NBA championships.

As a visionary leader, Buss believed that basketball games should not only be competitive but also entertaining. He introduced the Showtime era, featuring legendary players such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy. The Lakers' electrifying style of play captivated fans worldwide and solidified their status as one of the greatest teams in NBA history.

Buss's influence extended to women's basketball as well. He took charge of operating the Los Angeles Sparks when the WNBA was formed in 1996. The Sparks also enjoyed success under Buss's ownership, winning two WNBA championships.

Philanthropy and Personal Life

Despite his many accomplishments, Buss remained grounded and dedicated to giving back to the community. He made substantial donations to the University of Southern California, funding endowed chairs and scholarships for chemistry graduate students. Buss's philanthropy also extended to former Lakers players and employees, demonstrating his genuine care for those associated with the organization.

On a personal note, Buss had a vibrant and colorful life. Known as a playboy, he was often seen with a group of close friends known as "The Seven Dwarfs." Buss's love for poker was well-known, and he was a regular presence in high-stakes cash games and tournaments. He even participated in popular poker television shows such as High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark.

Remembering a Legend

Jerry Buss's contributions to basketball and his visionary leadership continue to inspire basketball enthusiasts worldwide. His induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 was a testament to his incredible impact on the sport. Buss's entrepreneurial spirit, combined with his dedication to entertaining and competitive basketball, forged a lasting legacy that will be felt for generations to come.

On February 18, 2013, Jerry Buss passed away at the age of 80. His death was mourned by the basketball community and fans alike. His children inherited his controlling ownership of the Lakers, ensuring his legacy lives on.

As we remember Jerry Buss, we celebrate his extraordinary achievements and the mark he left on the world of sports. His innovative mindset, philanthropic efforts, and passion for the game will forever be cherished. Rest in peace, Jerry Buss, the greatest owner in sports history.

Source: Original Article