Baylor died Monday of natural causes and was surrounded by his wife, Elaine, and daughter, Crystal, the Los Angeles Lakers said in a statement.
Elgin was the love of my life and my best friend, Elaine said in a statement. And like everyone else, I was impressed by his immense courage, dignity and the time he spent with all the fans. At this time we are asking permission for me and our family to mourn him in silence.
Considered one of basketball’s best from 1958 to 1971, Baylor was an All-Star 11 times and a National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star 10 times during his 14 seasons with the Lakers. He was the 1958-59 Rookie of the Year and the MVP of the All-Star Game that year. He averaged a double-double with 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds per game.
|— ESPN Stats and Information|
With the Lakers, who moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in 1960, Baylor appeared in the NBA Finals eight times but never won a title and lost a seven-game series to the Boston Celtics three times. He set the single-game scoring record with 61 points against the Celtics in 1962.
Elgin was a superstar of his time – his many accolades speak volumes, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said in a statement. He was one of the few Lakers players whose career stretched from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. But more importantly, he was a man of great integrity. He even served his country as a U.S. Army reservist and often played alone for the Lakers during his weekend leave. He is one of the Lakers’ biggest stars, his number 22 jersey hangs in the rafters and his statue stands as a sentinel in front of the STAPLES Center. He will always be part of the Lakers’ legacy. On behalf of the entire Lakers family, I would like to extend my thoughts, prayers and condolences to Elaine and the Baylor family.
Jerry West, who was part of Baylor’s team with the Lakers and is now a consultant with the Clippers, said Baylor is like family to him.
I will always cherish the days I spent as a teammate with him. He was one of the most talented and special players this sport has ever known, and he never got it just because of what he did on the field, West said in a statement. During those first years in the league, he took care of me like a father, like a son, he nurtured and encouraged me like no one else at that point in my life. We shared the joy of victory and the heartbreaking defeat in the championship final. He was a prince, both inside and outside the court. There are no words to describe how I feel right now. My heartfelt condolences go out to his lovely wife Elaine and his loving family, as well as his many fans and friends. I loved him like a brother.
Baylor scored many points and became the first player to score 70 points in a game, and 71 points in a game against the New York Knicks in November 1960. That was the Lakers’ single-game record until Kobe Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in January 2006.
Baylor retired early in the 1971-72 season due to knee problems. He narrowly missed out on the NBA title when the Lakers beat the Knicks in the final five games of the season.
Elgin Baylor has established himself in the modern NBA as one of the league’s best superstar players, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.
I loved him like a brother.
After finishing his playing career, Baylor coached three seasons (1976-79) in New Orleans without reaching the playoffs.
He then found a long-term place on the Clippers’ board, where he was general manager from 1986-2009, although he only made it to two playoffs with the team during his tenure. He was named NBA MVP in the 2005-06 season, in which the Clippers won 47 games and reached the Western Conference semifinals.
Baylor said he was fired because of his age and for racial discrimination, although he withdrew claims against the Clippers for racial discrimination in a lawsuit that was eventually dismissed in its entirety in 2011.
Baylor served as general manager under owner Donald Sterling, who was banned from the NBA for life in 2014 after private recordings of his racist comments became public. Baylor said he worked at Sterling because job opportunities were limited for former black players and he needed to support his family.
In a statement, the Clippers called Baylor an outstanding player, a valued teammate and a trailblazer.
Baylor was founded on the 16th. Born in Washington, D.C., in September 1934. Baylor, named after his father’s favorite watch, the Elgin watch, developed a passion for his sport even before he could afford to play basketball instead of learning to shoot a tennis ball.
Baylor played at Seattle University from 1956 to 1958. Averaging 31.3 points per game, he led the team to its only Final Four in 1958, where it lost in the final to coach Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky Wildcats. Baylor was voted best player.
After the season, the Minneapolis Lakers, who were on the verge of bankruptcy after a precipitous fall following their first championship, selected Baylor as the first player in the 1958 NBA Draft. Baylor immediately saved the Lakers with his scoring ability and style.
This was the second time the Lakers selected Baylor in the draft. They chose him in 1956 in the 14th. but Baylor then decided to go on to college.
Baylor, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977, is the sixth person honored by the Lakers with the statue, which was unveiled in April 2018. In 1983, the team retired its number 22 jersey.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
frequently asked questions
What did Elgin Baylor die of?
Baylor, who played a major role in the Los Angeles basketball scene as a player, coach and longtime Clippers manager, died Monday of natural causes in Los Angeles, the Lakers announced on Twitter.
What years did Elgin Baylor play for the Lakers?
Elgin Baylor – Wikipedia
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