Longtime Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss died Monday morning after a long bout with cancer. He was 80. Buss, a 2010 inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, guided the Lakers to 10 NBA championships and 16 Finals appearances, assembling the multiple eras of success from the 1980s Showtime dynasty to success in the 2000s with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. Buss was also beloved by his players and spent lavishly on his team to ensure its success. Picture: Buss smiles while watching the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks in August 2005. In addition to owning the Lakers, Buss once owned the NHL's Los Angeles Kings, the Los Angeles Strings of World Team Tennis, the Los Angeles Lazers of the Major Indoor Soccer League and the Sparks.
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Buss shakes hands with Lakers coach Paul Westhead in April 1980. Westhead guided the Lakers to their first championship under Buss, in 1980. Buss replaced Westhead midway through the 1981-82 season to promote assistant coach Pat Riley.
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Buss and the champion 1980 Lakers squad pose for a team portrait. With a rookie Magic Johnson teaming up with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jamaal Wilkes and Norm Nixon, the Lakers claimed the NBA championship in their first season under Buss' ownership.
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Buss sits at a Lakers game with Muhammad Ali and Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley at The Forum, the former home of the Lakers.
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Buss celebrates with the Lakers after winning the 1985 NBA Finals over the Boston Celtics. Buss assembled a dynasty in Los Angeles with the Showtime era of the 1980s. Stars like Kareem Adbul-Jabbar would rebound the ball and feed it to Magic Johnson to start the fast break and find scorers like James Worthy for a layup or a dunk.
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Buss smiles with the Penthouse Pets at the 30th anniversary party for Penthouse magazine in June 1999. Ever the playboy, Buss was rarely seen in public without at least one attractive woman alongside.
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Buss poses with Phil Jackson for a photo at a Lakers victory party celebrating the team's 2002 championship. The Lakers landed Jackson from the Chicago Bulls for the 1999-2000 season, and Jackson immediately delivered with three consecutive championships, beginning in 2000.
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Buss holds the Larry O'Brien Trophy while getting doused with champagne from his Lakers players following the team's 1987 championship. After buying the team in 1979, Buss spurred the Lakers to five titles over the next nine years.
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Buss holds his Hollywood Walk of Fame star with Paula Adbul and the Laker Girls during his induction ceremony to the Walk of Fame in 2006. Buss was honored for his revolutionary role in sports television, creating the Prime Ticket network to broadcast Laker games on cable rather than relying on the standard subscription service.
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Buss watches the Southern California men's basketball team take on Tennessee from his courtside seat at the Galen Center in December 2009. Buss got a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from USC and served on the faculty before finding fortune on the real estate market and buying the Lakers. He donated $7.5 million to the school's chemistry department in 2008.
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Buss sits with Magic Johnson at Game 3 of the 2002 NBA Finals between the Lakers and the New Jersey Nets. Johnson ran the point for the Lakers' reign of dominance in the 1980s, winning five championships for Buss.
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Shaquille O'Neal holds his MVP trophy, surrounded by Phil Jackson, Jerry West and Buss in May 2000. O'Neal and Kobe Bryant initiated a new era of success for the Lakers, winning the first of three straight championships in 2000 to end a nine-year dry spell.
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Buss walks onto the court at the Staples Center during the Lakers' 2010 NBA championship ring ceremony with Kobe Bryant and Derrick Fisher behind him. Buss showed great faith in Bryant when he made a draft-day trade for the 17-year-old, the first guard to be drafted out of high school. The move paid handsomely for Buss as Bryant helped revitalize the Lakers after a series of down years in the 1990s.
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Buss chats with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban after a Lakers-Mavericks game in November 2002. Although Buss' children assumed leadership positions in his later years, he remained involved with the franchise, taking an active role in the 2011 NBA lockout negotiations.
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Buss sits at the table at the World Poker Tour Invitational at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles. An avid poker player, Buss regularly participated in high-stakes tournaments.
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