16 Laker Girls, Paula Abdul, and Dr, Jerry Buss January 27, 1933 – February 18, 2013
The Laker Girls are an all-female National Basketball Association Cheerleading squad that performs and supports the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team in home matches. They also perform at many other events and venues.
Jerry Buss commissioned the Laker Girls in 1979 after he had purchased the Lakers. He believed a basketball game should be entertaining, and he was a big fan of college basketball. Cheerleaders were not common in the NBA at the time, but Buss ordered the formation of “the squad”, a team of top female dancers who were as talented as they were sexy, as part of his vision for Showtime. “I thought the game itself was fantastic, but the ambiance was really kind of dead. It was quiet and boring, and so I thought what I’d like to do is spice it up with having some dancers,” he explained.