Off-Ramp

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RIP Jerry Buss: A model manager for the LA Lakers — and a Monopoly champion

by John Rabe and Nick Roman | Off-Ramp

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Dr. Jerry Buss, actress Bai Ling and television personality Rossi Morreale play poker at the Los Angeles Lakers 3rd annual Mirage Las Vegas Casino Night and Bodog Celebrity Poker Invitational benefiting Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation at Barker Hangar on April 12, 2006 in Santa Monica. Vince Bucci/Getty Images

KPCC news editor Nick Roman joins Off-Ramp host John Rabe to talk about the life, Lakers, and legacy of Jerry Buss.

True, Nick says, when Buss bought the Lakers they had Kareem and - almost immediately - Magic. But then he turned them, and basketball, into something even greater. And in a town scarred by owners Al Davis and Frank McCourt, Buss was justifiably beloved.

In The Hollywood Reporter, Alex Ben Block tells an anecdote about how smart Buss was.

One way Buss showed his mental prowess was demonstrated in Monopoly games he used to play with Hefner. They did not use a board in front of them but rather kept everything in their heads -- all the positions and moves. Sometimes they played over the phone. For each game, someone else (out of their sight) kept the board.

But Roman says Buss was smart in another way that all managers should learn from: he hired good people ... and then he got out of the way.

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