Elgin Baylor was an amazing player. He was a pioneer, a player whose style of play is a building block of the modern game. The “godfather of hang time”, Baylor was a do-it-all wing who glided across the lane and to the rim, popped jumpers from all over the floor, rebounded like a maniac, and did it all with a flair that had not been seen before him.
As an all-time great and a true forefather of present day perimeter play, Baylor is deserving of more recognition than he gets in discussions about the best players ever.
Maybe it’s because he never won a championship. Or that his longtime teammate, Jerry West, became “The Logo” and ultimately got that elusive ring the year Baylor retired part-way through the season. Or that his long tenure as General Manager of the Clippers put a stain on his legacy, impacting how his playing career is remembered.
Whatever the reasons, Baylor could use more pub. And now, he’s going to get it. The Lakers have announced Baylor will be honored with a statue outside of Staples Center during a ceremony in April before a game vs. the Timbewolves:
The Los Angeles Lakers, STAPLES Center and AEG announced today the plans for a statue dedicated to Elgin Baylor at Star Plaza at STAPLES Center. The statue will be unveiled on April 6th during an outdoor ceremony at STAPLES Center prior to the Lakers vs. Minnesota game.
“I am thrilled that 60 years after the Minneapolis Lakers drafted Elgin, we are able to celebrate and honor him with a statue,” said Lakers CEO and Controlling Owner Jeanie Buss. “Not only is Elgin a part of the Lakers family, his contributions to the game of basketball earned him a place in the Hall of Fame. His list of accomplishments are unparalleled and I can’t wait to see his statue at Star Plaza alongside the other Lakers legends.”
Baylor will join Magic, Kareem, West, Shaq, and Chick Hearn as Lakers honored with a statue at Staples and I could not be happier about it all. A well deserved honor for a truly great player.
Now, enjoy this fantastic highlight reel of Baylor wrecking the competition.