It is a sad day for Los Angeles sports. News has surfaced Monday morning that Lakers owner Jerry Buss has lost his battle with cancer and has passed away at the age of 80-years-old. Buss had been hospitalized for months with an undisclosed form of cancer.
Lakers owner Jerry Buss passed away this morning. A sad day for L.A.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) February 18, 2013
Earlier in the week, Lakers star Kobe Bryant spoke of how influential Buss was in his career.
“Yeah, (Buss) has been on my mind, that’s been on my mind for a while,” Bryant said during NBA All-Star weekend in Houston. “I’m just trying to stay, gotta stay positive. He means everything to me. He took a chance on a 17-year-old kid coming out of Philadelphia when nobody really saw that potential. He believed in me the entire way.”
Buss has been a very important part of the franchise and has made an impact on a large portion of the franchise’s top stars.
“Dr. Buss is an important part of the Laker family so I hope his stay in the hospital is short,” former Lakers star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote in a tweet.
“Dr. Jerry Buss, thinking about u & wish I could be there, get well soon,” former Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal added. “I cant wait 2 see u on 4/2/13 #LoveYou.”
It is a major loss for the Los Angeles sports community and his death will be felt by fans and players alike. We would like to extend our condolences to the Lakers franchise and the entire Buss family as they deal with their loss.