The death of Lakers owner Jerry Buss on Monday sparked an outpouring of support and respect for the man credited with the invention of Showtime and who figured out a way to make more money from high-value seats. Buss, 80, died of complications from cancer.

Buss won 10 NBA championships after purchasing the team in 1979. In his first season as owner, after drafting Magic Johnson, the Lakers won the NBA title. It was a sign of things to come.

Among those helping Buss along the way was the legendary Jerry West. Buss was known for letting his basketball people run the show, which in the case of West was the way to go. West was an integral part of the front office for five NBA championships in the 1980s and helped set the table for the three consecutive titles from 2000-2002.

“This is an extremely sad day for me,” West said in a statement, “As I have said many times, I have been blessed to work for Jerry Buss, the most successful owner in basketball history. His incredible commitment and desire to build a championship-caliber team that could sustain success over a long period of time has been unmatched.

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