Lakers owner Jerry Buss has been hospitalized with cancer.
The 79-year-old Buss has spent time in the intensive care unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, according to the Los Angeles Times. The newspaper quoted Buss' son, Jim, Thursday saying his father was "doing fine." Several current and former Lakers players, including Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson, have visited Buss.
Team spokesman John Black said the team has no plans to comment on Buss' health out of respect for the family's wishes. Buss spokesman Bob Steiner said information would have to come from the Lakers.
“Just out of respect, I think you know they obviously don’t want us really saying too much about it but I think we all feel the same as far as his health goes in trying to maintain a positive outlook," said Kobe Bryant to our media partner, NBC LA.
Several former Lakers tweeted their support for Jerry Buss:
Buss has been hospitalized several times in recent years, including a stint last July for dehydration. He was treated for blood clots in his legs in December 2011.
A former aerospace engineer and real-estate developer, Buss has been a prominent name in American sports since he bought the Lakers, the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and the Forum from Jack Kent Cooke in 1979. Buss immediately transformed the Lakers into the NBA's most glamorous franchise, winning 10 NBA championships under his watch.
The Lakers won five titles in nine years during the 1980s, earning a reputation as basketball's most exciting team with their glamorous "Showtime" style led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson, who was Buss' first draft pick. O'Neal and Kobe Bryant then led the Lakers to a "threepeat" from 2000-02 under coach Phil Jackson before Bryant and Pau Gasol won two more titles in 2009 and 2010.
Buss' children moved into leadership roles with the Lakers in recent years. Jim Buss, the Lakers' executive vice president of player personnel and the second of Buss' six children, has taken a leading role in basketball decisions, while daughter Jeanie plays a major role in running the franchise's business side.
Yet Jerry Buss was deeply involved the Lakers' most recent major moves, including the acquisitions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard last summer, along with the firing of coach Mike Brown and the hiring of Mike D'Antoni early this season.