Lakers owner loses battle with cancer

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Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss died Monday after an 18-month battle with cancer, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Buss bought the team in 1979 with hopes of turning the team into not only playoff contenders, but showmen.

The Lakers hoisted their seventh NBA trophy in his first season as owner. In his three decades as owner, the Lakers won 10 championships while missing the playoffs only twice.

Buss turned the Lakers into a spectacle by encouraging celebrities to sit courtside and watch his team’s fast-paced and flashy style of play. He created a distinct identity when his Lakers embodied the Hollywood mentality in 1980. Their fast-paced offense of the time was nicknamed “Showtime.”

During his tenure as owner, the Lakers featured several Hall of Fame-caliber talents including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal as players and Pat Riley and Phil Jackson as coaches.

This past offseason, Buss made his final big splash by signing Steve Nash and Dwight Howard in hopes of creating a championship-caliber team capable of winning a 17th championship.

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