Devil Dish: Tribute to Dr. Jerry Buss

Jerry Buss, owner of the Los Angeles Lakers for the past 23 years, died on Monday. For the past 18 months, he had been hospitalized with cancer.

Whether you’re a Lakers fan or not, you can’t deny that the greatness of the Lakers franchise wouldn’t be possible without Buss. He is the reason why the team carries such high expectations every year.

Without Buss, Laker Nation wouldn’t be as successful or glamorous as it is today.

In his first season as owner, the Lakers drafted Magic Johnson, who led the Lakers to the championship in 1980. That was Buss’s first season and first of 10 NBA titles.

From the get-go, Buss was devoted to winning. The way he went about winning is what sets him apart from the others. The “Showtime Lakers” team he created won four more championships in the ‘80s.

Other integral players from those teams were Hall-of-Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and Jamaal Wilkes.

In the 2000s, Buss showed his commitment to winning at all times by bringing in players who brought the franchise five championships in that decade.

Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol were vital players in those titles.

Buss
is the reason why the franchise is where it stands today.

 

 

Reach the columnist at gdemano@asu.edu