- (Photo: Reuters/Fred Prouser)
Jerry Buss' died at age 80 after a battle with cancer, sparking a number of people affiliated with the NBA to honor the Los Angeles Lakers owner on Twitter.
Matt Barnes,32-year-old forward who played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 2010 to 2012, called his former team's owner a pioneer.
"Thoughts & prayers go out 2 the Buss family over the loss of Mr Jerry Buss," Barnes tweeted after learning about Buss' death. "A true pioneer in professional sports, he set the standard for running a franchise.. He will truly be missed."
Shaquille O'Neal was a Lakers center from 1996 to 2004 and tweeted about his sadness after losing his friend and mentor.
"I'm deeply saddened over the loss of the great Dr. Jerry Buss," O'Neal tweeted. "He was a dear friend, mentor,and brilliant business mind thank u for eight great years."
James Worthy, an NBA hall-of-famer, was picked first overall by the Lakers in 1982. He took to Twitter to express his condolences for Buss' family.
"Condolences to the Buss family. Dr Buss was not only the greatest sports owner, but a true friend and just a really cool guy," Worthy tweeted. "Loved him dearly."
Marc Cuban may be an owner of the Dallas Mavericks, but he credited the late Lakers owner for giving him support.
"RIP Jerry Buss," Cuban tweeted. "Your encouragement and support along with your stories of staying true to yourself had an enormous impact on me."
Buss has helped the Lakers get 10 championships, but he has recently made headlines for some health issues. In Dec. 2011, Buss was treated for blood clots while he was hospitalized for dehydration last July.
The Los Angeles Times reported that his most recent health issue stemmed from cancer that resulted in his hospitalization. Before Buss' death, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant spoke about the impact that the organizations now deceased owner had on his career.
"The brand of basketball that he brought here with Showtime and the impact that has had on the sport as a whole -- those vibrations were felt to a kid all the way in Italy at 6 years old before basketball was even global," Bryant told the Los Angeles Times. "His impact has been felt worldwide."