Reaction to Jerry Buss' death

Updated: February 18, 2013, 9:30 PM ET
Associated Press

Reaction to the death of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss at 80:

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"The NBA has lost a visionary owner whose influence on our league is incalculable and will be felt for decades to come. More importantly, we have lost a dear and valued friend." -- NBA Commissioner David Stern.

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"We have lost a true giant. Jerry Buss was more than just an owner. He was one of the great innovators that any sport has ever encountered. He was a true visionary and it was obvious with the Lakers in the 80's that `Showtime' was more than just Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It was really the vision of a man who saw something that connected with a community. I was privileged to be part of that for 10 years and even more grateful for the friendship that has lasted all these many years. I have always come to realize that if it weren't for Dr. Buss, I wouldn't be where I am today. He was a great friend and will be missed." -- former Lakers coach Pat Riley.

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"Jerry Buss was a visionary, a winner and a dear friend. Our city will miss him, our league will miss him and the Sterling family will truly miss him." -- Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

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"Jerry was always supportive of the many tough decisions that were made during our time together. I will particularly remember fondly our walks together during training camps, which were some of the highlights of my time working with him and the Lakers. I was blessed to have the opportunity to work for him and I will miss him dearly. We lost a great man today and a legend in our business." -- former Lakers general manager Jerry West, now a consultant with the Golden State Warriors.

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"I think he was a role model for all owners. He figured out so many things about our sport before other owners did. Even coming in as a new guy, he figured out things -- economics of the game, presentation of the game. And just as a human being, the ultimate class act." -- former Atlanta Hawks executive Stan Kasten, who is now president of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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"As an NBA owner, Dr. Buss was in a league of his own. I loved listening to his stories and appreciated his willingness to always engage in discussion and offer me positive encouragement and advice. He will be greatly missed." -- Phoenix Suns managing partner Robert Sarver.

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"Condolences to the Buss family. Dr Buss was not only the greatest sports owner, but a true friend & just a really cool guy. Loved him dearly." -- Lakers Hall of Fame forward James Worthy.

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"RIP Jerry Buss. Your encouragement and support along with your stories of staying true to yourself had an enormous impact on me." -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

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"Dr. Jerry Buss was a cornerstone of the Los Angeles sports community and his name will always be synonymous with his beloved Lakers. It was through his stewardship that the Lakers brought `Showtime' basketball and numerous championship rings to this great city. Today we mourn the loss and celebrate the life of a man who helped shape the modern landscape of sports in L.A." -- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

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"My thoughts and prayers are with the Buss family. Dr. Jerry Buss was like a Dad to me and is a tremendous loss to (at)Lakers fam." -- former Lakers forward Dennis Rodman.

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"What a visionary. What a leader. What a friend. Rest in peace Dr. Buss." -- former Lakers forward A.C. Green.

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"RIP to the legend Jerry Buss." -- Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant.


Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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