We just have one story for you guys today, because the man who it features deserves nothing less then his own post. This morning, Los Angeles Lakers Owner Jerry Buss died at the age of 80. Buss was in the hospital battling cancer for most of the last year and a half, though the immediate cause of death was kidney failure.
Buss brought the Lakers in 1979 after a successful run in real estate. The very next year, the Lakers drafted Earvin ‘Magic”Johnson, and the Lakers won the title. They would go on to win four more in the 80’s, before capturing another five with Kobe Bryant, starting back in 1999.
What many people may not know about Buss is that he was a huge poker player as well. Buss was often seen, always escorted by two beautiful women, at the Bicycle or Commerce casinos in Los Angeles, and he would also make appearances at the World Series of Poker in the summers whenever the Lakers were out of the playoffs. While I never got a chance to personally interact with Buss, you could always tell he was down to earth and a real class act. Many poker players took to twitter this morning to express their condolences.
RIP Jerry Buss…While I didn’t know him that well, for a guy of his stature, his visible passion for poker was inspiring
— Eugene Katchalov (@EugeneKatchalov) February 18, 2013
I’ve had the privilege of playing poker& commentating on Dr. Jerry Buss. An extremely nice man on every occasion. Thoughts w/ his family
— David Tuchman (@TuckonSports) February 18, 2013
Buss will always be remembered as a legend, an inspiration, and most of all, a champion. The Lakers are now left in the hands of his son, Jim, and daughter, Jenni, who’s also married to former Lakers coach Phil Jackson. Rest in peace Mr. Buss. You lived a hell of a life.