Lakers owner Jerry Buss is currently hospitalized with cancer, according to a source familiar with the situation.
A Lakers spokesman declined to comment out of respect for Buss’ privacy.
Jerry Buss, 79, has owned the Lakers since 1979, when he purchased the team along with the Forum, the NHL’s Kings and a 13,000-acre ranch in Kern County for $67 million from Jack Kent Cooke. Since then, the Lakers have become one of the sport’s top franchises, winning 10 of their 16 NBA championships under Buss’ watch.
In recent years, Buss has experienced declining health and has gradually ceded more control of the Lakers. He had surgery Aug. 9 for undisclosed reasons. Buss was hospitalized in July for dehydration. In December 2011, he was hospitalized to treat blood clots in his legs. The Lakers then attributed that to excessive travel.
Buss’ daughter, Jeanie, is the team’s executive vice president of business operations, while Buss’ son, Jim, is the team’s executive vice president of player personnel. The Lakers were recently listed by Forbes Magazine as the second-most-valuable NBA team at $1billion, trailing the New York Knicks.
The Lakers and the Buss family released a statement shooting down suggestions they might sell the franchise to an outside group.
“We unanimously agree that we have no intention of ever selling the Lakers, and intend to keep ownership of the team in our family for generations to come,” the statement read.
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