July 17, 1979: New Lakers owner Jerry Buss poses in front of one of his new acquisitions — the Great Western Forum in Inglewood. Buss had recently paid $67.5 million to Jack Kent Cooke for the Lakers, Forum, NHL’s Kings and a 13,000-acre Kern County ranch. At the time, the purchase price was the highest single transaction in sports history.
Since 1979, the Lakers have been to the NBA finals 16 times, winning 10 titles. Only twice have they failed to make the playoff.
This image by former Los Angeles Times staff photographer Dave Gatley was published on Aug. 2, 1979, as part of a seven-photo essay on the new Lakers owner. This portrait of Jerry Buss was also recently used with the new All Things Lakers database.