LOS ANGELES (WISH) – The Basketball Hall of Famer and longtime Los Angeles Laker Elgin Baylor has died at the age of 86.
Baylor died of natural causes in Los Angeles surrounded by his wife Elaine and daughter Krystal. This is evident from a statement by the team.
“Elgin, the superstar of her time – his many awards speak for it,” said Lakers Governor Jeanie Buss in the statement. “He was one of the few Lakers players whose careers spanned from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. But more importantly, he was a man of great integrity who even served his country as a U.S. Army reservist, often only playing for the Lakers during his weekend pass. He’s one of the greats of the Lakers. His jersey No. 22 is retired in the rafters and his statue stands guard 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 offer my thoughts, prayers, and condolences to Elaine and the Baylor family. “
Baylor led Seattle University to their first appearance in the NCAA tournament championship game before being drafted in first place overall by the Minneapolis Lakers in 1958. In his first season he averaged 24.9 points, 15.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists and was named Rookie of the Year.
The Washington DC-born 11-time All-Star and 10-time All-NBA player on the First Team averaged 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds over his 14-year career. All of this was spent on the Lakers franchise. Baylor was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977 and retired in 1983 wearing his # 22 jersey.
“Elgin was the love of my life and my best friend,” said Elaine Baylor. “And like everyone else, I was impressed by his immense courage, his dignity and the time he gave to all the fans. At this point, we ask that I and our family may mourn his death in private.
He is survived by his wife, son, two daughters and sister.