The Lakers will honor the late owner Dr. Jerry Buss at a memorial service scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday at the Nokia Theatre by L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.
The event won’t be open to the general public and will be restricted to selected guests and media who regularly cover the team.
Buss, 80, died at 5:55 a.m. on Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after battling an unspecified form of cancer for the past 18 months. Buss family spokesman Bob Steiner said the cancer affected his kidneys.
Steiner had also indicated at a press briefing Monday that the Lakers plan to honor him at some point when they play Wednesday against the Boston Celtics at Staples Center.
Before his recent health issues, Buss was still involved in the decision-making processes for the Lakers.
He was strongly in favor of the Lakers hiring Mike D’Antoni in hopes of restoring “Showtime” featuring fast-paced basketball. He also met Dwight Howard and Steve Nash this offseason shortly after the Lakers acquired them.
Buss 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. That’s only one shy of the Lakers’ rival, the Boston Celtics.
The Lakers were recently listed by Forbes Magazine as the second-most-valuable team in the NBA at $1 billion, trailing the New York Knicks. Part of that value has increased because of a lucrative 20-year deal with Time Warner Cable SportsNet.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Lakers Youth Foundation or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
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