Former Los Angeles Lakers player and Hall-of-Famer Elgin Baylor died on Monday at the age of 86, in which the organization described as “peacefully” and of “natural causes.”
“Elgin was THE superstar of his era – his many accolades speak to that,” Lakers Governor Jeanie Buss said in a statement. “He was one of the few Lakers players whose career spanned from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. But more importantly he was a man of great integrity, even serving his country as a U.S. Army reservist, often playing for the Lakers only during his weekend pass. He is one of the all-time Lakers greats with his No. 22 jersey retired in the rafters and his statue standing guard in front of STAPLES Center. He will always be part of the Lakers legacy. On behalf of the entire Lakers family, I’d like to send my thoughts, prayers and condolences to Elaine and the Baylor family.”
Baylor is among six Lakers luminaries to have a statue outside of Staples Center, including Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal and former team announcer Chick Hearn. Baylor is also among 10 Lakers players to have their jersey retired, including Johnson, West, Abdul-Jabbar, O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, James Worthy, Gail Goodrich and Jamaal Wilkes. And Baylor entered the Naismith Memorial Hall-of-Fame after winning an NBA championship (1972), posted an NBA Finals record 61 points in Game 5 of the 1961 NBA Finals against Boston, winning the league’s rookie of the year award (1959) and making 11 All-Star appearances.
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