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Jerry Buss, Los Angeles Lakers’ owner, dies at 80

By David Harten

This article was published February 18, 2013 at 11:37 a.m.

in-this-may-8-2008-file-photo-los-angeles-lakers-owner-jerry-buss-smiles-at-the-playmate-of-the-year-luncheon-at-the-playboy-mansion-in-los-angeles-buss-the-lakers-playboy-owner-who-shepherded-the-nba-franchise-to-10-championships-has-died-he-was-80-bob-steiner-an-assistant-to-buss-confirmed-monday-feb-18-2013-that-buss-had-died-in-los-angeles-further-details-were-not-available

In this May 8, 2008 file photo, Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss smiles at the Playmate of the Year luncheon at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. Buss, the Lakers' playboy owner who shepherded the NBA franchise to 10 championships, has died. He was 80. Bob Steiner, an assistant to Buss, confirmed Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 that Buss had died in Los Angeles. Further details were not available

— Los Angeles Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss has died at age 80.

Spokesman Bob Steiner says Buss died Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He’d been hospitalized for cancer, but the immediate cause of death was kidney failure.

Buss shepherded the NBA franchise to 10 championships. He transformed the Lakers into Southern California’s most beloved sports franchise and a worldwide extension of Hollywood glamour after buying the club in 1979.

Buss acquired, nurtured and befriended a staggering array of talent during his Hall of Fame tenure, starting with his first draft pick, Magic Johnson.

With Buss’ leadership and lavish spending, the Lakers won five championships during the 1980s Showtime dynasty and added five more in an 11-year span of Kobe Bryant’s career.

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