EppsNet Archive: Jerry Buss

Jerry Buss, 1933-2013

18 Feb 2013 /

I’m sad. As a lifelong Laker fan, I kind of feel like I knew the guy. He bought the Lakers in 1979, which means he was younger than I am today, and now he’s dead at the age of 80. I feel old.

Dr. Buss was a USC alum. Fight on.

R.I.P. Jerry Buss


You Can Make It If You Try

14 Jan 2012 /

“It’s becoming conventional wisdom that the U.S. does not have as much [economic] mobility as most other advanced countries,” said Isabel V. Sawhill, an economist at the Brookings Institution. “I don’t think you’ll find too many people who will argue with that.”

English: Jerry Buss (LA Lakers owner) playing ...

Jerry Buss

I’ll argue with it . . . the fact that people are not doing something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a hard thing to do. Maybe people aren’t trying to do it. Maybe people don’t want to do it.

From Daniel Kahneman‘s Thinking, Fast and Slow:

A large-scale study of the impact of higher education . . . revealed striking evidence of the lifelong effects of the goals that young people set for themselves. The relevant data were drawn from questionnaires collected in 1995-1997 from approximately 12,000 people who had started their higher education in elite schools in 1976. When they were 17 or 18, the participants had filled out a questionnaire in which they rated the goal of “being very well-off financially” on a 4-point scale ranging from “not important” to “essential.” . . .

Goals make a large difference. Nineteen years after they stated their financial aspirations, many of the people who wanted a high income had achieved it. Among the 597 physicians and other medical professionals in the sample, for example, each additional point on the money-importance scale was associated with an increment of over $14,000 of job income in 1995 dollars!

In other words, one reason that people differ in their incomes is that some people care more about having a high income than others. People have different ambitions. Some people will gladly sacrifice things like family and leisure time for money and some people won’t.

Here’s an example of what it takes to be rich in America: Laker owner Jerry Buss spent so little time with his family when his kids were growing up that when he and his wife separated, they didn’t tell the kids, and it was five years before any of them noticed the difference.

True story.

Not everyone is willing to show a Jerry Buss level of ruthless disregard for their family in their pursuit of financial success.

I’ve spent a lot of time with my family. Jerry Buss owns a basketball team and I don’t. Good for him! I’ve lived my life a certain way and I could have lived it a different way if I’d wanted to.

A lot of Americans are self-absorbed morons whose principal activities are eating and watching television. The fact that these people are not shooting up the economic ladder doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a hard thing to do if you really want to do it.

At the Lakers Game

8 Oct 2008 /

My son and I went to the Lakers game last night, a pre-season game against Utah . . .


As we were walking in, he pointed out an Asian girl with a spiky-haired Asian guy wearing an Olympics jersey and said, “That guy with the Olympic jersey pulled a hotter Asian woman than you.”

The girl was hotter than my wife is now, but not hotter than she was at that age.

“You don’t know anything,” I said. “Mom was pretty hot.”

“Yeah. Right.”


Pretty good game! The starters played more than I thought they would.

Andrew Bynum is back. He looked good!

Jerry Buss was there. He looked terrible. Thirty minutes before the game, a guy rolled him out in a wheelchair to the end of the court. It took him several minutes to hobble from there to his courtside seat. My son said he had a leg injury. I thought he was just too old.

The girl sitting next to him — his date or his great-granddaughter, I’m not sure which — looked really good.

Laker Girls

The Laker Girls totally set the bar for whatever you call these kinds of groups — cheerleaders? Dance teams?

I realized that what’s missing from my workplace is hot girls in extremely short skirts who jump around and cheer whenever something noteworthy happens.

We check in a bug fix? Gooooo team!

Then at halftime — or “lunch” as we call it — they’d change into tight pants and belly shirts and jump around in the new outfits all afternoon.

Good times!


On the drive home, my wife called my son’s cell phone. The conversation was focused on exactly where we were and how long it would take us to get home.

“Why does she care about that?” I asked.

“She’s probably up to something and wants to make sure she stops doing it before we get there.”

Wasted Time

1 Aug 2004 /

There was a profile of Jerry Buss, the owner of the Lakers, on TV the other night . . .

Buss spent very little time with his family when his kids were growing up. When he and his wife separated, they didn’t tell the kids, and it was five years before any of them noticed the difference.

True story!

Clearly, I have not been nearly as ruthless as I could have been at disregarding my family in my pursuit of success.

Another Difference Between USC and UCLA

12 Jun 2002 /

NBC analyst Bill Walton attended UCLA. FOX Sports analysts Marques Johnson and Jack Haley also went to UCLA.

Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss attended USC.