UPDATED 9:52 AM 2/19/13
(LOS ANGELES) -- The NBA has lost a legendary figure as Jerry Buss, the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, has died at the age of 80 after battling an undisclosed form of cancer.
Back in 1979, Buss purchased the Lakers from Jack Kent Cooke for $67.5 million. According to Forbes magazine, the team is now estimated to be worth $1 billion.
Under Buss, the Lakers became one of the premier organizations in the NBA, winning titles in 1980, '82, '85, '87, '88, 2000, '01, '02, '09, and '10. Buss was able to bring in such players like Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Shaquille O'Neal, and Kobe Bryant.
"He's meant everything to me in my career in terms of taking a risk on a 17-year old kid coming out of high school and then believing in me my entire career," Bryant said on Sunday when asked about Buss.
Buss reportedly had been hospitalized several times over the past few years and had not attended a single Lakers game this season. He had recently passed the day-to-day operations of the organization to his children Jim and Jeanie.
Buss originally made his money in real estate, staring with a $1,000 investment in a Los Angeles-area apartment building.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Updated 8:35 am 2/18/13
Dr. Jerry Buss, storied ownner of the Los Angeles Lakers has died.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jerry Buss, the Los Angeles Lakers' playboy owner who shepherded the NBA franchise to 10 championships, has died. He was 79.
Bob Steiner, an assistant to Buss, confirmed Monday that Buss had died in Los Angeles. Further details were not available.
Buss 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.
Former Mayor Richard Riordan, speaking on KABC's McIntyre In the Morning, said Buss made his mark on the city. Listen HERE
And hear Dr. Buss' NBA Hall of Fame Induction speech HERE
Buss had spent time in the intensive care unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical
Center with an undisclosed form of cancer, according to the Times.
In December 2011, he was hospitalized for treatment of blood clots in
his legs that officials said were caused by extensive traveling.
In 1979, Buss purchased the Lakers, Forum, Los Angeles Kings hockey team
and a 13,000-acre Kern County ranch from Jack Kent Cooke for $67.5 million,
then the largest transaction in sports history.
When Buss purchased the team, it had won one championship in the
previous 25 seasons and had lost nine times in the NBA finals during that span,
including four seven-game series.
Buss combined show business glamour and sex appeal with shrewd personnel
moves -- both on and off the court -- to make the Lakers become what NBA
Commissioner David Stern once said was ``the standard by which all L.A. sports
franchises and most American franchises get measured.''
In Buss' first season as owner, the Lakers won the NBA championship,
then added four more titles in the following eight seasons, as the Magic
Johnson-led fast-breaking ``Showtime'' offense enthralled both the general
public and celebrities like Academy Award-winning actor Jack Nicholson, who
became regulars in the courtside seats.
Under Buss, the Lakers became the first basketball team to have a dance
squad: the Laker Girls, who also developed a devoted following and inspired
creation of similar squads by every other team in the league.
The Lakers won three more NBA championships from 2000-2002 with teams
led by Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. Bryant-led teams won titles in 2009
The Lakers' 10 championships under Buss' ownership are the most by a
team in any of the four major North American professional leagues since he
purchased the team. Buss' 10 championships as an owner are the most in NBA
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press, City News Service contributed.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The CIA thrillers "Argo" and "Zero Dark Thirty" have won top screenplay honors from the Writers Guild of America.
The guild's adapted screenplay award yesterday went to Chris Terrio for "Argo," the tale of the CIA's daring masquerade of six U.S. diplomats as a Hollywood film crew to rescue them from Iran during the hostage crisis there.
Mark Boal won the prize for original screenplay for "Zero Dark Thirty," the chronicle of the CIA's manhunt for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
Updated 7:30 am 2/17/13
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An American Meteor Society official says an unusual flash of light over the San Francisco Bay Area was likely a sporadic meteor, or fireball, and not a major event.
Californians reported seeing the flash Friday, hours after a meteor exploded over Russia and injured more than 1,000 people.
Mike Hankey of the American Meteor Society says his group recorded at least 35 reports of the event. He says fireballs happen every night, but given the publicity of the Russian event, people are more likely to notice things in the sky.
On Friday, the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland also reported receiving calls describing what appeared to be a fireball flying west around 8 p.m.
Jonathan Braidman, an instructor at the center, described the object based off reports as likely being a small piece of an asteroid that "somehow" got on a collision course with the earth.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
More Recent Local News
Updated 7:23 pm 2/16/13
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former city attorney is crediting his wife with getting their children out of their burning Los Angeles home Saturday.
Rocky Delgadillo told KCBS-TV his wife was "extraordinarily courageous and was able to round up the boys and get them out."
The early morning blaze was declared knocked down within 20 minutes of being reported in the Wilshire Park Neighborhood.
Firefighters told KCBS five people were inside when the fire started: Delgadillo, his wife, their two young sons and one of their children's friends who was sleeping over.
At least four people, including Delgadillo, were taken to hospitals as a precaution. None had serious injuries. The house is believed to be a total loss.
Since a failed Democratic bid to become state attorney general, Delgadillo has been CEO of the Los Angeles County Medical Association.
copyright the Associated Press
More Local News:
The 85th Oscar awards ceremony will take place on the 24th, and Oscar is getting ready very early. There will be a number of street closures to accomdate the winners, losers, observers, and hangers-on at the event, and some of the closures will take palce THIS Sunday.
City New Service reports: Some alleys, sidewalks and curb lanes have already been closed for about
a week near Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, but the big traffic
headaches will begin at 10 p.m. Sunday, when Hollywood Boulevard is closed
between Orange Drive and Highland. The stretch will remain closed until 6 a.m.
Other closures taking effect Sunday night are:
-- The south sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard between Orange and Highland
will close at 6 p.m., with the exception of an 8-foot pedestrian access.
-- The north sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard directly in front of the
Dolby Theatre portal will close at 10 p.m.
-- The north sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard from Highland to Orange,
with the exception of an 8-foot pedestrian access, will close at 10 p.m.
-- The pedestrian mid-block crosswalk on Hollywood Boulevard between
Highland and Orange will close at 10 p.m.