How Jerry Buss Brought Hollywood to the Lakers
The real estate mogul introduced "Showtime," paid Magic Johnson $25 million and partied with Hugh Hefner while building a $1 billion franchise.
Jerry Buss brought his Los Angeles Lakers a long way. Although the team made the long trip from Minneapolis to Los Angeles decades before he owned it, the former real estate mogul and former chemist was the one who turned Hollywood's spotlights on a franchise worth at least $1 billion today.
To understand how Buss transformed sports, it helps to understand, as Adler says, how he lived his life. I interviewed Buss several times over the years and always found him surprisingly candid and convincing in his belief in his team. During the 1980s, Buss leveraged the fortune he made in real estate into a bigger fortune in sports. He still spent a lot of time in nightclubs, bars, restaurants and in enjoying his life, most often in the company of young women. A wag in the 1980s told me, “Buss may get older, but the girls never get older.”
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