Jerry Buss Dead At 80

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Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 10:15 AM
click to enlarge LAKERS
  • Lakers

Updated at the bottom with reaction from notables.

Jerry Buss passed away this morning at the age of 80, the Lakers announced.

The longtime team owner "had been hospitalized much of the past 18 months," the Buss family said in statement. Last week it was reported that he was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as a result of cancer.

According to the family, all will be stable with the franchise:

It was our father's often stated desire and expectation that the Lakers remain in the Buss family.

His son Jim runs the team's basketball side while daughter Jeanie runs business operations.

Buss bought the Lakers in 1979. There are minority stakeholders, including Anschutz Entertainment Group, the company that owns Staples Center, which has less than 30 percent ownership.

The team says Buss died at 5:55 a.m. after a "long illness."

Instead of sending flowers his family requests that donations be made to the Lakers Youth Foundation in his honor.

[Added at 11:11 a.m.]: Tributes poured in today via Twitter:

[Added at 3:49 p.m.]: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued a statement this afternoon:

Dr. Jerry Buss was a cornerstone of the Los Angeles sports community and his name will always be synonymous with his beloved Lakers. It was through his stewardship that the Lakers brought "Showtime" basketball and numerous championship rings to this great City.

Today we mourn the loss and celebrate the life of a man who helped shape the modern landscape of sports in LA, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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