Lakers owner, Dr. Jerry Buss, dead at age 80

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Jerry Buss

Lakers owner Jerry Buss in AP photo dated 2000.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Jerry Buss, the Los Angeles Lakers’ playboy-owner who shepherded the NBA franchise to 10 championships, has died. He was 80.

Bob Steiner, an assistant to Buss, confirmed Monday that Buss had died in Los Angeles. Further details were not available.

Buss 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.

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