Former Lakers star Elgin Baylor has passed away at age 86, the team announced Monday (link). Baylor died of natural causes, surrounded by family, per the Lakers.
A 6-5 forward, Baylor played his college ball at Seattle University, leading the team to an appearance in the championship game in 1958 and earning Final Four Most Outstanding Player honors. He was the first overall pick in the NBA Draft later that year, joining the Minneapolis Lakers.
Baylor spent his entire NBA career with the Lakers, first in Minneapolis and then in Los Angeles. He earned 11 All-Star nods and 10 All-NBA First Team berths over the course of an impressive playing career, winning the Rookie of the Year and All-Star Game MVP Awards in 1959. He averaged 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds in 846 career regular-season games.
Baylor was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1977.
Baylor, who had his No. 22 jersey retired by the Lakers, spent time in the 1970s as a coach for the New Orleans Jazz, then served as the Clippers’ vice president of basketball operations for over two decades, winning the NBA’s Executive of the Year Award in 2006. He ultimately resigned from the role at age 74 in 2008.
Our condolences go out to Baylor’s family and friends.