In a sad turn of events for Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, everyone who knows him and the entire Lakers team and fanbase, Buss has reportedly been hospitalized with cancer—a condition that has been known for quite some time but not reported out of respect for the Buss family.
Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register officially broke the news in the L.A. media market on Thursday afternoon:
Lakers owner Jerry Buss has cancer: bit.ly/Z0LfLI— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) February 14, 2013
According to Ding's report, family and friends of the longtime L.A. tycoon are at his bedside during this trying time. As RadarOnline.com reports, a source has suggested that Buss could be nearing death if things don't turn around soon:
Jerry isn’t doing well and it’s quite sad, but he’s surrounded by loved ones, the insider told RadarOnline.com...The cancer is just too much and it looks like this is the end for him.
Buss turned 79 in late January, and he had been in and out of the hospital for the past few months as his health continued to deteriorate. According to the reports, Buss is being cared for at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Since purchasing the team in 1979, Buss has transformed the Lakers into one of the most influential franchises in the history of the NBA. His 10 championships span three decades and included players such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kobe Bryant.
A Basketball Hall of Fame inductee himself in 2010, Buss is widely regarded as one of the greatest owners in the history of professional sports. In addition to the Lakers, he has also held stakes in the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks over the years.
Buss has six children from two different marriages, and his family has expressed no interest in selling the team after his days as majority owner are over (via Ding).
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Buss family during this difficult time.