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Buss, Jerry

Buss, Jerry (Gerald Hatten Buss), 1933–2013, American businessman and basketball executive, b. Salt Lake City. He worked in the aerospace industry until the late 1950s, when he struck it rich in the booming Los Angeles real estate market. He purchased the Los Angeles Strings of World Team Tennis in 1974 and Los Angeles Lakers of the National Baskeball Association (NBA) and other sports holdings in 1979. Buss built the Lakers into the NBA's most successful and glamorous team, hiring superb coaches, e.g., Jerry West , Pat Riley, Phil Jackson , and great players, e.g., Magic Johnson , Kareem Abdul-Jabbar , Shaquille O'Neal , and Kobe Bryant . He also added glitz and pizzazz to the sport, including half-time entertainments, making pro basketball one of the most watched sporting events. In 1985 he cofounded a regional cable sports network. Buss's Lakers were in the NBA finals 16 times, winning 10 titles between 1980 and 2010. He was inducted into the Baskeball Hall of Fame in 2010.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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