Lakers owner Jerry Buss elected to Basketball Hall of Fame

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Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss appears before his team's preseason game against the Sacramento Kings at the Thomas & Mack Center October 12, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada

The Los Angeles Lakers may be struggling down the last stretch of the NBA’s regular season, but they received some good news Monday morning about team owner Jerry Buss. Dr. Buss is headed for the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Updated 1:27 p.m.

Jerry Buss bought the Lakers in 1979 and has transformed the franchise into one of the most successful in NBA history – nine NBA championships and a constellation of star players often known by one name: Magic, Kareem, Kobe, Shaq.

Not to mention the Hollywood stars who delight in being seen near the basketball court at Lakers games. In adding Buss’ name to the class of 2010 hoops Hall-of-Famers, Jim Nantz of CBS sports said it wasn’t just about team victories or “Showtime.”

"Off the court, he has made substantial contributions to local charities as well as funding scholarships at his alma maters of Wyoming and USC," said Nantz, at a news conference in Indianapolis.

This weekend in Bell Gardens, Buss is hosting a poker tournament to raise money for free surgeries to repair cleft lips and palates for children in need around the world.

The Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony happens August 13 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Two more basketball greats with ties to the Southland are slated for induction then: the late Dennis Johnson, who played guard for Dominguez High School in Compton, Harbor College and Pepperdine before a 14-season NBA career, and WNBA star Cynthia Cooper, a Locke High School and USC alumna.

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