Elgin Baylor facts for kids

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Elgin Baylor Night program
Elgin Baylor on the cover of a Los Angeles Lakers program

Elgin Gay Baylor (born September 16, 1934) is a retired American basketball player, coach, and executive. He played 13 seasons as a forward in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Baylor played for the Minneapolis / Los Angeles Lakers, appearing in eight NBA Finals. Baylor was a gifted shooter, strong rebounder, and an accomplished passer. Baylor was famous for his acrobatic moves on the court. He regularly dazzled Lakers fans with his trademark hanging jump shots. Baylor was the No. 1 draft pick in 1958. He was NBA Rookie of the Year in 1959. Baylor was named an NBA All-Star 11 times. He is regarded as one of the game's all-time greatest players. In 1977, Baylor was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Early years

Baylor was born September 16, 1934 in Washington, DC. He attended high school at Washington, D.C.'s Springarn High. He was an All-American at Seattle University. In 1958 he led his team to the NCAA finals.

Professional career

In 1958 he was the number 1 pick in the NBA draft by the Minneapolis Lakers. The Lakers were struggling and on the verge of bankruptcy. Baylor was just what they needed and he led the team to the 1959 NBA Finals. On November 15, 1960 Baylor set a then NBA record. He scored 71 points and 25 rebounds in one game. This was while he was still on active duty with the United States Army. He could only play with the Lakers on weekends.

Baylor was 6-5 and weighed 225 pounds. He was strong and graceful on the court. During his 14-year career with the Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers Baylor averaged 27.4 points a game. He held an average of 13.5 rebounds per game. He averaged 27 points a game in 134 appearances in playoff games. Early in the 1970-71 season Baylor suffered a severe knee injury. He didn't return until the 1971-72 season playing only nine games before he retired. He was 37 years old.

Baylor spent 22 years as general manager of the Los Angeles Clippers. He won the NBA Executive of the Year Award in 2006. He was relieved of his duties shortly before the 2008–09 season began.

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