Longtime Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss died Monday morning after a bout with a long illness, the team announced. He was 80.
Buss had been hospitalized for much of the past 1 1/2 years, the family said in a statement.
"We not only have lost our cherished father, but a beloved man of our community and a person respected by the world basketball community," the statement said. "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."
In recent years, Buss has relinquished control of the team to son Jim.
Buss bought the Lakers in 1979 and the team won 10 NBA titles under his ownership. He turned them into "Showtime" by building the team around flashy players, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. He hired coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson, who had Hall of Fame careers.
"I really tried to create a Laker image, a distinct identity," Buss said in the Los Angeles Times. "I mean, the Lakers are pretty damn Hollywood."
---Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis is expected to reject his $11 million option for next season and become a free agent, the Boston Globe reported Monday.
Ellis is averaging 18.4 points a game but barely shooting 40 percent this season.
---The Philadelphia 76ers signed guard Jeremy Pargo for the remainder of the season. Pargo originally signed a 10-day contract with the Sixers on Feb. 7.