LOS ANGELES (CBSNewYork/AP) — Los Angeles Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss has died at age 79.
Spokesman Bob Steiner says Buss died Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He’d been hospitalized for cancer, but the immediate cause of death was kidney failure.
Buss shepherded the NBA franchise to 10 championships. He transformed the Lakers into Southern California’s most beloved sports franchise and a worldwide extension of Hollywood glamour after buying the club in 1979.
Buss acquired, nurtured and befriended a staggering array of talent during his Hall of Fame tenure, starting with his first draft pick, Magic Johnson.
With Buss’ leadership and lavish spending, the Lakers won five championships during the 1980s Showtime dynasty and added five more in an 11-year span of Kobe Bryant’s career.
The Lakers were estimated to be worth $1 billion by Forbes magazine.
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