In the world of sports, there are two owners synonymous with success. And both are gone now. George Steinbrener of the New York Yankees had a win-at-all-costs mentality. He would spend a ton and ruthlessly cut players. Jerry Buss was a more civilized version of that, but with just as much success. Maybe more.
Yesterday, Buss died at the age of 80. He was battling cancer that was only recently made public. The long-time Lakers' owner has diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago. However, the cause of death was kidney failure.
Buss brought 10 championships to Los Angeles. He was responsible for Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. He was an impressive idealist who put his plans into action and did not back down.
"The NBA has lost a visionary owner whose influence on our league is incalculable and will be felt for decades to come," NBA commissioner David Stern said. "More importantly, we have lost a dear and valued friend."Unlike Steinbrener, Buss was almost universally liked. He got along with people while still getting the job done, a quality that most successful people have. He will be missed throughout the league and throughout the sports world.