The Los Angeles Lakers and the entire NBA lost a great one today. The organization announced earlier that legendary Lakers forward Elgin Baylor has passed away at the age of 86. Los Angeles noted in a press release today that Baylor died peacefully and of natural causes.
Baylor was drafted first overall by the Minneapolis Lakers bak in 1956 out of Seattle University. He averaged 24.9 points per game 15 rebounds and 4 assists en route to winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He would play 14 seasons for the Lakers between Minneapolis and Los Angeles.
Baylor earned NBA All-Star honors 11 different seasons and had 10 first-team All-NBA appearances. He would continue his career in the NBA even after his retirement in 1971. Baylor coached the Utah Jazz and moved on to serve as the Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Lakers.
Baylor was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1977 and has his number 22 jersey retired by the Lakers. There is also a statue honoring Baylor outside of Staples Center in Los Angeles. In terms of points, Baylor is 31st overall in NBA history with 23,149 total in his storied career.
He retired from the NBA without ever winning a championship, but Lakers fans have always loved and appreciated his character and career.
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