NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor has died at the age of 86. ESPN reports that the Lakers legend died of natural causes on Monday and was surrounded by his wife, Elaine, and their daughter, Krystal.
“Elgin was the love of my life and my best friend,” Elaine said in the statement. And like everyone else, I was in awe of his immense courage, dignity and the time he gave all the fans. At this time we ask that I and our family be allowed to mourn his passing in private. “
Baylor was selected 11 times All-Star and 10 times All-NBA during his 14 seasons with the Lakers from 1958 to 1971. He would also win the 1958-59 Rookie of the Year award and the Most Valuable Player of the All-Star Game. the same year. He averaged a double-double in his career, registering 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds per game.
“Elgin was THE superstar of his day – his many accolades speak to that,” Lakers owner 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 greats of the Lakers with his No. 22 jersey retired on the rafters and his guard statue in front of the STAPLES Center. It will always be part of the Lakers’ legacy. On behalf of the entire Lakers family, I would like to send my thoughts, prayers and condolences to Elaine and the Baylor family. “
“Elgin Baylor set the course for the modern NBA as one of the first superstar players in the league,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.
Following his playing career, Baylor coached the New Orleans Jazz from 1976 to 1979 and joined the Los Angeles Clippers front office, operating as general manager from 1986 to 2009.