The six children of the recently deceased Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss are going to retain control of the team according to reports. The highly successful owner wanted to keep the franchise in the family, and apparently his wishes will be holding sway.
We don’t know the exact details of Jerry Buss’ estate plan, but in many cases the families of people who pass away who own sports franchises are forced to sell off the teams to pay the estate tax. This year the top rate of the estate tax is 40%, and the exclusion is $5.25 million.
Given the fact that the value of the Los Angeles Lakers alone is $1 billion that $5.25 million is certainly not much of a cushion for the Buss family. It is interesting to note that the cost of the team when Buss and his partners purchased it back in 1979 was $20 million. That is quite a significant return on investment.
When you think about Jerry Buss you may conjure images of someone who lived a privileged life. However, in truth when you hear his story it is quite moving and inspirational.
He was a Depression-era child, and he could recall standing in a food line in frigid temperatures in Wyoming with a sack to bring home some food for himself and his mother.
The Lakers won 10 NBA titles while Jerry Buss was the owner, and he is the individual who transformed the Lakers into a Hollywood “Showtime” product. Without question, he was one of the most influential sports franchise owners of all time and he is leaving behind an extraordinary legacy.