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Lakers Owner Buss Is Hospitalized

October 16, 2002

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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss collapsed at a fund-raising dinner Tuesday night and was rushed to a hospital, where he was in stable condition.

Buss, 69, was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where hospital spokesman Johnny Hagerman declined to release any other details on Buss’ condition.

Buss was attending the Carousel of Hope Ball in Beverly Hills when he became ill at about 10 p.m. Team spokesman John Black said Buss was conscious as he was taken away by ambulance.

``Apparently he was seated there and he just collapsed,″ Black said.

CNN’s Larry King said he was sitting across from Buss when the owner was stricken while blues musician B.B. King was performing.

``I looked down and suddenly he turned white and sort of keeled over,″ King told KCAL-TV. ``Oprah Winfrey and I and others started jumping up, trying to get him to stop playing and get some attention for Dr. Buss, who was obviously in big trouble. I mean he had turned total white.″

King said two doctors at the ball rushed to Buss’ aid and emergency crews arrived soon after.

``Then they got him on the stretcher and brought him out here,″ King said as he stood outside the party.

Buss, a self-made millionaire with a doctorate in physical chemistry, is widely known to Lakers fans as Dr. Buss. He bought the team in 1979 after making his fortune in real estate, starting with a $1,000 investment in a West Los Angeles apartment building.

A high-profile owner, he is seen frequently around town and at Lakers games. He was a constant presence at the Staples Center in recent years as the team embarked on its run of three consecutive NBA championships.

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