NBA Legend Elgin Baylor passes away at age 86

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Chris Samuel, theSCORE Co-Editor

The NBA world lost a legend as Hall of Fame forward Elgin Baylor passed away at the age 86.

After being the first overall pick in the 1958 NBA Draft, Baylor played in the NBA from 1958-1971 for the Minnesota/Los Angeles Lakers. During his tenure as a Laker, Baylor was an 11 time All-Star, and 10 time First Team All-NBA selection. Baylor was named a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary team and in 1977 was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In the Staples Center’s rafters is Baylor’s retired No.22 jersey. Baylor played for the perennial Western Conference champion Lakers in the 1960s and early 1970s, along with Hall of Fame teammates Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain.

As one of the most exciting players at his time, Baylor was known for putting up big numbers. In Game 5 of the 1962 NBA Finals Baylor scored 61 points, which is still a record. For his career, he averaged 27.4 points per game, which is the third highest in NBA history. Baylor also averaged 13.5 rebounds per game, which is 11th highest in NBA history.

Former Lakers point guard and Hall of Famer Magic Johnson commented and reflected on Baylor.

“True class and great man, I’ll always appreciate the advice he shared with me when I first came into the league”, Johnson said.

Baylor was a pioneer in the early days of the NBA due to his high scoring and elite playmaking. He leaves an outstanding legacy and profound impact on the NBA and the sport of basketball.