Buss died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said Bob Steiner, his assistant. Buss been hospitalized for cancer, but the immediate cause of death was kidney failure, Steiner said.
Under Buss’ ownership, the Lakers won NBA titles in 1980, ’82, ’85, ’87, ’88, 2000, ’01, ’02, ’09 and ’10. Among the all-time greats who played for the Lakers during Buss’ tenure were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Byron Scott, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
Worthy tweeted on Monday, “Condolences to the Buss family. Dr Buss was not only the greatest sports owner, but a true friend & just a really cool guy. Loved him dearly.”
Buss was credited with introducing “Showtime” to Los Angeles, bringing entertaining basketball to the Entertainment Capital of the World. He once said his goal was to make the Lakers synonymous with Los Angeles, which had been a Dodgers town up until the time he bought the team. Most would say he succeeded.