The Story Behind Jerry Buss Divorce From JoAnn Mueller

Jerry Buss was the illustrious owner of the Los Angeles Lakers from 1979 until his passing in 2013. But Why did Jerry buss Divorce?

Over the course of his 33-year tenure, Buss won ten NBA championships, made 16 NBA Finals appearances, and rarely missed the playoffs.

However, behind his success on the court was a private life that was not without its own struggles.

The Beginning of the End

Jerry Buss and JoAnn Mueller were high school sweethearts, having grown up together in Kemmerer, Wyoming. 

The pair attended the University of Wyoming together and eventually got married in 1952. 

They moved to Los Angeles shortly after, where Buss began his career as a scientist with a Ph.D. in chemistry.

Buss was always a sports fanatic, and he slowly but surely became interested in purchasing an NBA team. 

In 1979, he successfully bought the Lakers and quickly turned them into one of the most dominant franchises in sports history.

However, the stress and pressure of owning an NBA team took a toll on Buss and his marriage. According to reports, Buss had multiple extramarital affairs throughout his time as owner of the Lakers.

While Mueller initially tried to accept her husband’s infidelity, she eventually reached her breaking point. The couple officially divorced in 1972 after 20 years of marriage.

The Divorce Settlement

Buss and Mueller’s divorce was not without its complications. 

At the time, Buss was a scientist who had recently purchased the Lakers and would go on to become a billionaire. 

Mueller, on the other hand, was a homemaker and mother of five children.

The divorce settlement was significant, with Mueller receiving a $1.5 million lump sum, homes in LA and Palm Springs, two Mercedes-Benz cars, and $119,000 a year in alimony for life. 

Buss agreed to pay for the children’s college education and provide health insurance for the family.

The couple’s divorce became even more complicated when they were unable to agree on custody of their children. 

Buss fought for sole custody, but Mueller ultimately won joint custody of their four remaining children.

The Impact on the Lakers

While the divorce was a personal matter, it also had a significant impact on the Lakers. Buss had remarried a woman named JoAnn Nicholson, who became the stepmother to his five children.

According to reports, Nicholson and Mueller did not get along, and it created tension within the family. 

Additionally, Buss’s relationships outside of his marriage caused further tension between him and his children.

Despite these challenges, the Lakers continued to be a dominant force in the NBA. Buss remained heavily involved with the team, and his children also became more involved over time.

However, the divorce and its aftermath had a significant impact on the Buss family, one that would continue to echo throughout their lives.

The Legacy of Jerry Buss

Jerry Buss was a complicated man who achieved tremendous success on the basketball court but struggled with his personal life. 

His divorce from JoAnn Mueller was a significant moment in his life, one that had implications on both his family and his business.

While his marriage may have ultimately ended in divorce, Buss’s impact on the NBA is undeniable. 

He was a trailblazer who brought showmanship and innovation to the sport, forever changing the way basketball was played and consumed.

Today, the Lakers remain one of the most successful franchises in sports history, thanks in no small part to the vision and leadership of Jerry Buss.