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Statements on the passing of Jerry Buss


Posted Feb 18, 2013 1:32 PM - Updated Feb 20, 2013 1:31 PM

Commissioner David Stern

"The NBA has lost a visionary owner whose influence on our league is incalculable and will be felt for decades to come. More importantly, we have lost a dear and valued friend. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time."


Los Angeles Lakers

"We not only have lost our cherished father, but a beloved man of our community and a person respected by the world basketball community," a statement released on behalf of the Buss family said.

Dr. Buss had been hospitalized much of the past 18 months in a battle which "showed his amazing strength and will to live. It was our father's often stated desire and expectation that the Lakers remain in the Buss family. The Lakers have been our lives as well and we will honor his wish and do everything in our power to continue his unparalleled legacy," the statement concluded.

He is survived by sons Johnny, Jim, Joey and Jesse and daughters Jeanie Buss and Janie Drexel, all of Southern California; eight grandchildren; former wife JoAnn of Las Vegas; half sister Susan Hall of Phoenix; half brother Micky Brown of Scottsdale; and stepbrother Jim Brown of Star Valley, Wyoming.

Funeral and memorial service arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Lakers Youth Foundation or a charity of the donor's choice.

Former Lakers coach Pat Riley
"We have lost a true giant. Jerry Buss was more than just an owner. He was one of the great innovators that any sport has ever encountered. He was a true visionary and it was obvious with the Lakers in the 80's that `Showtime' was more than just Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It was really the vision of a man who saw something that connected with a community. I was privileged to be part of that for 10 years and even more grateful for the friendship that has lasted all these many years. I have always come to realize that if it weren't for Dr. Buss, I wouldn't be where I am today. He was a great friend and will be missed."

Lakers great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"When someone as celebrated and charismatic as Jerry Buss dies, we are reminded of two things. First, just how much one person with vision and strength of will can accomplish. Second, how fragile each of us is, regardless of how powerful we were. Those two things combine to inspire us to reach for the stars, but also to remain with our feet firmly on the ground among our loved ones. Dr. Buss embodied that compassionate entrepreneurial spirit. He strove to reach greater heights without forgetting his community roots. During his stewardship, the Lakers exemplified his personal standards of excellence and became one of the dominant teams in the NBA and a force of good within the community. The man may be gone, but he has made us all better people for knowing him."


Shaquille O'Neal

"I'm deeply saddened over the loss of the great Dr. Jerry Buss. He was a dear friend, keen mentor and brilliant businessman. He'll always be remembered for his dedication in bringing the best to the purple and gold and I'm proud to have been part of his honorable legacy. My heart and prayers go out to the Buss family and friends. Dr. Buss will be deeply missed by this big man."


Jerry West, former Lakers player and front office executive:

"This is an extremely sad day for me. As I have said many times, I have been blessed to work for Jerry Buss, the most successful owner in basketball history. His incredible commitment and desire to build a championship-caliber team that could sustain success over a long period of time has been unmatched.

With all of his achievements, Jerry was without a doubt one of the most humble men I've ever been around. His vision was second to none; he wanted an NBA franchise brand that represented the very best and went to every extreme to accomplish his goals. His achievements as an owner are legendary and will never be duplicated: 10 NBA titles and 16 trips to the NBA Finals.

"Our relationship has always been very unique; Jerry was always supportive of the many tough decisions that were made during our time together. I will particularly remember fondly our walks together during training camps, which were some of the highlights of my time working with him and the Lakers.

"I was blessed to have the opportunity to work for him and I will miss him dearly. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Buss family and the Lakers organization. We lost a great man today and a legend in our business."


Celtics' CEO Wyc Grousbeck

"I had the pleasure of working with Jerry closely for the last 10 years on league matters. He was a wonderful business colleague, brilliant competitor and became a good friend. Although our teams competed in two Finals during that time, the friendship never wavered. He will be greatly missed and the entire Celtics organization offers condolences to the Buss family and Lakers organization."


L.A. Dodger
s

The Los Angeles Dodgers organization extends its deepest sympathies to the Buss family and the Los Angeles Lakers' organization on the passing of one of the greatest owners in NBA history. Jerry Buss made great contributions to the sporting landscape of Los Angeles and America and was a true champion in every sense of the word. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Buss family.


Pacers' owner Herb Simo
n

"The passing of Dr. Jerry Buss is a tremendous loss, not only for the Los Angeles Lakers, but the NBA. I have known Dr. Buss since my brother and I bought the Pacers back in 1983, we have worked on things together as owners in the NBA and I have had the utmost respect for him. My family and the Pacers' family send our condolences to the Buss family and the Los Angeles Lakers."


Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Gube
r

"On behalf of the Golden State Warriors organization, we extend our thoughts and prayers to the entire Buss family. Dr. Buss set an incredible standard of excellence that each of us strives to achieve, but few attain. His overall contribution to the league over three-plus decades leaves an indelible mark that will never be forgotten."


Phoenix Suns managing partner Robert Sarver

"On behalf of the entire Phoenix Suns organization, our thoughts and prayers are with theBuss family. As an NBA owner, Dr. Buss was in a league of his own. I loved listening to his stories and appreciated his willingness to always engage in discussion and offer me positive encouragement and advice. He will be greatly missed."


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

"Dr. Jerry Buss was a cornerstone of the Los Angeles sports community and his name will always be synonymous with his beloved Lakers. It was through his stewardship that the Lakers brought "Showtime" basketball and numerous championship rings to this great city."


Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG

"Dr. Buss was our partner, our mentor and our friend. He was kind enough to allow us into his world and much of the success we enjoyed at Staples Center and L.A. Live is directly attributed to him. I do not believe we will ever find anyone quite like him. Our prayers and thoughts are with [daughter] Jeanie and the entire Buss family."

Clay Bennett, OKC Thunder chairman:

"Dr. Buss was a visionary, generous mentor and good friend. He will be deeply missed. The entire Thunder organization extends our heartfelt sympathy to the Buss family."

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