Dr. Jerry Buss Elected to Basketball Hall of Fame
Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss has been named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2010, it was announced today. Enshrinement for this year’s class will take place in Springfield, Massachusetts on August 13th.
“This is an overwhelming honor and one that I never anticipated when I began my ownership of the Lakers 31 years ago,” said Buss. “I truly thank everyone involved for according me the privilege of being a member of such a prestigious body as the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.”
One of eight individuals and two teams comprising the Class of 2010 along with Cynthia Cooper, Bob Hurley, Sr., Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Johnson, Gus Johnson, Maciel “Ubiratan” Pereira, the 1960 USA Men’s Olympic team and the 1992 USA Basketball “Dream Team,” Buss is the third Laker to enter the Hall as a contributor (Pete Newell, Chick Hearn).
Owner of the Los Angeles Lakers since 1979, Buss has built one of the most successful organizations in the history of professional sports. During his ownership, the Lakers have won nine NBA Championships and made 15 trips to the NBA Finals while recording the most victories and highest overall winning percentage in the NBA. Throughout his years at the helm, Buss has brought in and/or worked alongside nine current members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame including Bill Sharman, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob McAdoo, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Chick Hearn, James Worthy, Phil Jackson and Pat Riley.
In addition to his role with the Lakers, Buss owned the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA from 1996-2006, with the club capturing two championships (2001, 2002) under his leadership. The first NBA team owner of a D-League franchise when the Lakers bought the Los Angeles D-Fenders in 2006, Buss also served two terms as Chairman of the NBA Board of Governors.
Among other accomplishments, Buss helped launch Prime Ticket Network (now FS West / Prime Ticket) in 1985 and initiated innovative marketing strategies still emulated by professional teams today such as an advertising agreement with Great Western Bank in 1988 that resulted in the Lakers’ former home being named the “Great Western Forum.”
A recipient of numerous honors for his wide-ranging charitable interests, Buss will host a charity poker tournament this Saturday night, April 10th, to benefit Smile Train, just weeks after raising a record $175,000 for the Lakers Youth Foundation at the team’s annual golf tournament.