LA Lakers owner Jerry Buss

LA Lakers owner Jerry Buss

Los Angeles sports fan are mourning the loss of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who died early this morning, at the age of 80. He was being treated for cancer.

Buss led the Lakers to win 10 NBA championships in three-plus decades, and is credited with making the team glamorous and exciting, introducing a sense of showmanship that changed NBA culture forever.

David Wharton is a sports reporter at the Los Angeles Times and spoke with KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis.

Magic Johnson called Buss “a great man and an incredible friend,” Shaquille O’Neal called him “a dear friend, mentor and brilliant business mind,” and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa describes him as “a cornerstone of the Los Angeles sports community.”

Funeral and memorial service arrangements are pending.

According to Lakers spokesman John Black, the Lakers will remain under the control of the Buss family. Jeanie Buss, the executive vice president of business operations, will represent the team at the NBA’s Board of Governors meetings; and Jim Buss, the team’s executive vice president of player personnel, will remain as head of basketball operations.

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