I'm sure you will have heard the sad news that Los Angeles Lakers owner, Jerry Buss, died earlier this week. He died in hospital, having been battling cancer and kidney failure.
In honour of Buss, the Lakers will be wearing his commemorative patch on their jerseys for the remainder of the season.
Buss bought the LA Lakers, along with the LA Kings and The Forum in 1979, for a total of $67.5 million. At the time, that was the biggest transaction in sports history.
During his time as Lakers owner, Buss has seen the Lakers have 31 play-off appearances in 33 seasons, 16 Western Conference titles and 10 NBA Championships.
The LA Times said of him;
A self-made millionaire who built his fortune in real estate, Buss bought the Lakers in 1979. He charted his successful course with marquee players Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, Hall of Fame coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson, celebrities sitting courtside and Laker Girls dancing during timeouts.
“I really tried to create a Laker image, a distinct identity,” Buss said. “I mean, the Lakers are pretty damn Hollywood.” It was a remarkable winning streak for a man who dug his way out of a hardscrabble youth. [...] “Jerry Buss helped set the league on the course it is on today,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said. “Remember, he showed us it was about ‘Showtime,’ the notion that an arena can become the focal point for not just basketball, but entertainment. He made it the place to see and be seen.”
Despite how the Lakers are doing, make sure you keep an eye out for the JB patch.