Jerry Buss died on Monday morning at the age of 80.  The Lakers won 10 NBA championships while Buss owned the franchise.

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Dr. Jerry Buss died on Monday morning.  Buss had been hospitalized for an undisclosed form of cancer.  The immediate cause of death is kidney failure according to his assistant, Bob Steiner.  Obviously, more details will be released about the exact cause of Buss’ death, but this is all that has been released so far.

According to Mark Heisler of the LA Times, NBA Commissioner David Stern said, “Jerry Buss helped set the league on the course it is on today.  Remember, he showed us it was about ‘Showtime,’ the notion that the arena can become the focal point for not just basketball, but entertainment.  He made it the place to see and be seen.”

That’s a very interesting statement for Stern to make.  The NBA has always marketed its star players heavily.  The league has borrowed some of the principles that Dr. Jerry Buss used to make the Lakers not just a franchise, but also an event.

The Lakers won 10 NBA titles under Buss’ ownership.  They won five championships in the 1980s (1980, ’82, ’85, ’87, ’88).  The Lakers also brought home five NBA championships in the 2000s (2000, ’01, ’02, ’09, and ’10).

Brian Noe is the Brand Manager at 104.5 The Team, ESPN Radio in Albany, NY.  Brian also hosts “The Noe Show” weekdays from 1-3 pm ET on WTMM.