Lakers owner Jerry Buss had this to say about the death of basketball legend Pete Newell:
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Pete Newell earlier today. Pete was one of the most brilliant teachers and coaches the game has ever known, and was also an exceptional front office man as the Lakers general manager from 1972-76. He was a great help to me when I first purchased the Lakers and he was very generous with his time and counsel. In addition to his great contributions to the basketball world, Pete was also one of the finest gentlemen we’ve known. Our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the Newell family.”
Newell was the Lakers GM when they acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from the Milwaukee Bucks on June 16, 1975. In later years, Newell tutored many of the best of the NBA’s big men at his summer camp. Andrew Bynum attended the camp as a 17-year-old rookie. Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal, Scottie Pippen, James Worthy and others also learned their craft from Newell.