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NBA: Lakers' owner Buss remains in hospital

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss remained hospitalized Friday, reportedly fighting an undisclosed form of cancer with his son telling the Los Angeles Times his father was "doing fine."

The NBA team has made no official comment about the 79-year-old Buss's condition. He was reported to be in intensive care at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

"We just aren't going to make any comments on it," Jim Buss told the Los Angeles Times. "We have been dealing with this."

Buss was hospitalized last year for dehydration and in December of 2011 he was hospitalized for treatment of blood clots in his legs that officials said were caused by extensive traveling.

Buss purchased the Lakers, their former Forum arena, the Los Angeles Kings National Hockey League team and a 13,000-acre Kern County ranch from Jack Kent Cooke for $67.5 million in 1979.

When Buss bought the Lakers, they had won one championship in the previous 25 seasons.

Buss made the Lakers one of the biggest draws in Los Angeles with a combination of shrewd personnel moves on and off the court and a feel for show business glamour.

The Lakers have the highest payroll in the NBA at $100 million, but they were recently valued by Forbes magazine as being worth $1 billion -- second in the NBA only to the New York Knicks, who were valued by the financial magazine at $1.1 billion.

The Lakers won the NBA title in Buss's first season as owner and added four more championships in the next eight seasons.

Magic Johnson led the up-tempo "Showtime" offense that became a favorite of such LA notables as actor Jack Nicholson.

The Lakers became the first NBA team to have a dance squad, the Laker Girls, who inspired similar troupes on other NBA teams.

The Lakers won three more NBA titles from 2000-2002 with teams led by Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, and Bryant, still the lynchpin of the team, led the Lakers to titles in 2009 and 2010.

O'Neal sent good wishes to Buss via Twitter, saying that he was "thinking about u & wish I could be there. Get well soon.

"I can't wait to see u on 4/2/13," O'Neal added in a reference to the date his jersey was scheduled to be retired at the Lakers' Staples Center arena.

Bryant also tweeted support on Thursday night, writing: "We all LOVE our Dr. B!!"

Buss's 10 championships as an owner are the most in NBA history and he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.

Buss has handed over control of the franchise to son Jim, who looks after the basketball side of the club, while his daughter Jeanie oversees business matters.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130215/nba-lakers-owner-buss-remains-hospital