The Huffington Post | By Anna Almendrala
LOS ANGELES — Basketball fans in Los Angeles, Calif. are mourning the death of Dr. Jerry Buss, beloved team owner of the LA Lakers.
LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa noted that Buss was more than an NBA franchise owner; he was “a cornerstone of the Los Angeles sports community.”
“Today we mourn the loss and celebrate the life of a man who helped shape the modern landscape of sports in LA,” said Villaraigosa in a press release.
Buss was also unusually beloved among his players, notes AP, treating them like members of his extended family. Laker player Pau Gasol tweeted his condolences to the Buss family:
Magic Johnson, leader of Buss’ “Showtime” Lakers in the 1980s, tweeted this message in memory of him:
Of course, Buss’ legacy extended far beyond the boundaries of a basketball stadium or even Laker fandom. Twitter user Matt Bilinksy sums up Buss’ contribution to Los Angeles as a whole in this message:
@mattbilinsky – There is literally ONE thing that brings the people of LA together & gives them a sense of community. And we have Jerry Buss to thank for it