I’ve always said that there are teams and/or players that I just don’t like, but I will give respect when it is due and this is one of those times. As much as I’m an official Laker-Hater, you have to respect what Dr. Jerry Buss did with the Los Angeles Lakers.
One thing that I admire is that you had a kid who grew up in Wyoming during the Great Depression with a divorced mother and he was able to save money enough to go to school and get an education (Dr. Buss earned a scholarship to the University of Wyoming, graduating with a B.S. degree in two and a half years in 1955. He moved to Los Angeles and attended the USC, where he earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in physical chemistry by age 24. Dr. Buss went into real estate with his long-time business partner Frank Miriani, that is where he made his millions.
Dr. Buss purchased the Los Angeles Lakers ($16M), the Los Angeles Kings ($8M), the Forum ($33.5M) and a 13,000 acre ranch ($10M)in the Sierra Nevada mountains from Jack Kent Cooke. In return, Cooke received real estate in Virginia, Massachusetts, Maryland and the lease for the Chrysler Building in New York.
Dr. Buss brought a little swag to the Lakers; his first year as owner and Magic Johnson’s rookie year they won their first NBA title and “Showtime” was in full effect. Under Dr. Buss reign, the Lakers had great run in NBA history with 19 division titles, 16 NBA Finals appearances and 10 NBA championships. He was inducted in the NBA Hall of Fame in 2010 and it was well deserved.
Dr. Buss definitely made a profit off of his investment; he paid $16M for the Lakers and now they are worth a little more than $1 billion. Rest in Peace Dr. Jerry Buss, you have definitely made your mark in this world in more ways than one.