A private memorial service for Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss will be held Thursday afternoon at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live, the team announced today.
The 3 p.m. service will be for invited guests only, and will not be open to the public, according to the Lakers.
Buss, 80, died Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after a battle with cancer.
He is credited with transforming the franchise into one of the successful and glamorous teams in North American professional sports.
“We not only have lost our cherished father, but a beloved man of our community and a person respected by the world basketball community,” according to a statement released on behalf of the Buss family.
Buss had been hospitalized for much of the past 18 months during a battle which “showed his amazing strength and will to live. It was our father’s often stated desire and expectation that the Lakers remain in the Buss family. The Lakers have been our lives as well and we will honor his wish and do everything in our power to continue his unparalleled legacy,” according to the statement.
Team spokesman John Black and family spokesman Bob Steiner said Monday the team is held in a trust benefiting all of Buss’ children.
Buss’ daughter, Jeanie, will represent the team at the NBA’s Board of Governors meetings, and his son Jim will remain head of basketball operations.
Buss’ son Johnny is the team’s executive vice president of strategic development and daughter Janie Drexel is director of charitable services.
Buss’ son Jesse is director of scouting.
In addition to his five children involved with the Lakers, son Joey is chief executive officer of the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Lakers’ NBA Development League affiliate.
Buss is also survived by eight grandchildren, former wife JoAnn of Las Vegas, half sister Susan Hall of Phoenix, half brother Micky Brown of Scottsdale and stepbrother Jim Brown of Star Valley, Wyoming