Lakers Moments: Jerry Buss poses in front of his home
Man in charge: Jerry Buss outside his new acquisition, the Forum in Inglewood, on Aug. 2, 1979.
Buss purchased the Lakers, the NHL's Kings, the Forum and a 13,000-acre ranch in Kern County from Jack Kent Cooke in 1979 for $67.5 million. At the time, it was the largest transaction in sports history. Today, the Lakers are valued at about $600 million.
Since Buss' purchase, the Lakers have won 10 championships and been to the NBA Finals 16 times. Only twice in that span have they missed the playoffs.
While building the Lakers into one of the premier franchises in sports, he's done so with a certain flair.
"Right after I bought the team, I used to go into this little lounge in Santa Monica," Buss said in an interview with Times columnist Bill Plaschke in 2008. "The owner was also the musical director for MGM and they used to perform musicals there late at night, it was fantastic. Just before they would start, everyone would start shouting, 'Showtime! Showtime!' I remember thinking, this is how I wanted people to feel about their team."
"I’m the luckiest guy I ever met," Buss said. "I have the best job in the world. I’m very, very fortunate. I’m just happy running the Lakers."
Read more about Jerry Buss in All Things Lakers, the Los Angeles Times’ interactive database of all things purple and gold.
-- Sarah Ardalani and Hans Tesselaar
Photo credit: Los Angeles Times