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Elgin Baylor honored by Lakers with special old-school tribute

Lakers, Elgin Baylor

The Los Angeles Lakers are paying tribute to NBA legend Elgin Baylor by wearing their white city edition jerseys versus the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday. Baylor passed away on Monday at the age of 86 due to natural causes, according to a statement released by the team. 

Baylor, who was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers at number one in the 1958 NBA Draft, had a prolific career with the Purple and Gold franchise. The five-time champion spent his whole career (14 years) with the team and was known to be a great shooter, rebounder and passer. He also averaged 27.4 points, 13.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists throughout his career. 

Baylor was also part of the first-ever Lakers team after the franchise moved cities. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977 and is one of the six iconic players who has a statue outside Staples Center. 

The Laker legend’s contributions also spanned outside the basketball court even when he was still playing. Elgin Baylor was known to be an activist who continuously used his platform to speak out against injustice. 

During the 1961-62 season, Baylor averaged 38.3 points per game despite only playing during weekend games. Baylor was a member of the Army Reserve and was only allowed to play in games via weekend pass. Still, his style of play specifically in the wing position eventually pioneered the modern game of hoops. The Lakers great may be gone, but his impact and the memories he left will be remembered and treasured forever.