Tributes Pour in for Man Who Built Lakers Dynasty
LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Dr. Jerry Buss changed NBA basketball forever. On Monday night, the basketball fans of Los Angeles paid their respects to the man who created “Showtime.”
The flags outside Staples Center flew at half-staff on Monday following the passing of longtime owner Jerry Buss.
“We loved him,” one fan put it simply. “It’s a very sad day today. A very sad day.”
Lakers fans placed flowers at the statue of legendary broadcaster Chick Hearn, along with a sign saying, “Heaven just got a lot more entertaining and dazzling.”
“The way I see it, he was the best owner in sports,” another fan remarked.
But now that Buss is gone, what is in store for the Lakers’ future?
Lakers’ officials say the operation and running of the team should remain unchanged. That means that two of Jerry Buss’ children will continue making decisions.
Jeannie Buss has run the business side of the Lakers for the past 15 years.
Brother Jim Buss, more visible over the past couple of years, has taken the reins of the basketball operations with General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
The Buss family’s 66 percent ownership of the team will be held in a trust.
“Dr. Buss has set it up years in advance,” Lakers spokesman John Black said on Monday. “He planned for continuation for the team to remain with the family.”
The Buss family confirmed that in a statement, saying, “It was our father’s often stated desire and expectation that the Lakers remain in the Buss family.”
“The Lakers have been our lives as well and we will honor his wish and do everything in our power to continue his unparalleled legacy.”
Funeral and memorial service arrangements for Dr. Buss are still pending. In lieu of flowers, the Buss family requests that donations be made to the Lakers Youth Foundation.