Is Disney paying its share in Anaheim?

Penny Marshall

Lakers owner Jerry Buss brought 'Showtime' success to L.A.

Lakers owner Jerry Buss brought 'Showtime' success to L.A.

The frozen fields of Wyoming came first. Long before the championship trophies. Before the glitz and glamour. Jerry Buss was still a teenager, digging ditches beside his stepfather, when he dreamed of bigger things.

It was youthful ambition — a hunger for excitement — that led him to Southern California, where he amassed a fortune in real estate, traded it all to buy the Lakers, then became the man who transformed pro basketball from sport into spectacle.

"I really tried to create a Laker image, a distinct identity," he said years later. "I think we've been successful. I mean, the Lakers are pretty damn Hollywood."

The same could be said of Buss,...

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