LA Lakers owner in hospital for cancer–report

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In this Aug. 17, 2010, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss smiles during an NBA basketball news conference in Bell Gardens, Calif. Buss has been hospitalized with cancer. Team spokesman John Black said Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, that the team has no plans to comment on Buss’ health. AP

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who has been in failing health for the past year, has been hospitalized in intensive care for cancer, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

The 79-year-old was taken to hospital in July for “dehydration” and underwent surgery a month later for an undisclosed illness.

The Lakers did not immediately respond to requests for comment. It was not clear what form of cancer Buss is fighting.

Buss purchased the Lakers in 1979 and has been in charge of the franchise for 10 of their 16 National Basketball Association championships.

Buss used to be a regular fixture Lakers games but has not been seen at any contests this season.

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

The Lakers have the highest payroll in the NBA at $100 million.

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