Dr. Jerry Buss, widely considered one of the greatest owners in the history of professional sports, died this morning at the age of eighty. The longtime Los Angeles Lakers head was in the hospital battling a number of ailments including cancer when his kidneys gave out. There was nothing doctors could do, and in the hours since, tributes from those who knew him and those who simply admired him have been flooding various social media sites.

Dr. Buss was born in 1934 in Salt Lake City and grew up in Wyoming. After high school, he earned a B.S. from the University of Wyoming in just two and a half years and later moved on to USC where he picked up a Masters and a Doctorate in physical chemistry before his twenty-fifth birthday. A few years later, he joined the USC faculty and invested in real estate on the side, eventually earning so much money he quit his teaching job and started buying and selling properties full time.

He purchased the Lakers in 1979, and in the decades since, the team has won ten NBA Championships and perhaps even more impressively, only missed the playoffs on two occasions. For the past few years thanks to his health problems, Buss largely seeded control of the team to his two children, but prior to that, he was the perfect boss. He hired the right people, treated them like gold and gave them enough space to do their jobs.

Pop Blend’s sincerest thoughts go out to the entire Buss family, as well as everyone else touched by Jerry’s long life. By all accounts, he was a warm, generous and fun human being who lived everyday with zest and gusto. Whether playing high stakes poker, sitting courtside or having dinner around town, he was always the coolest guy in the room, and he will be missed.

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