Hall of Fame forward Elgin Baylor, the Los Angeles Lakers’ 11-time NBA All-Star, died Monday of natural causes. He was 86.
Baylor was a 10-time All-NBA selection during his 14 seasons with the Lakers from 1958 to 1971. He was the 1958-59 Rookie of the Year as well as the All-Star Game MVP that year. Baylor was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977.
“Elgin was the love of my life and my best friend,” Baylor’s wife, Elaine, said in the statement. “And like everyone else, I was in awe of his immense courage, dignity and the time he gave to all fans. At this time we ask that I and our family be allowed to mourn his passing in privacy.”
Elgin Baylor: Forever part of our Lakers Family. pic.twitter.com/zcRhVUSSmx
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 22, 2021
After his illustrious playing career was over, Baylor served as a coach for the New Orleans Jazz and vice president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Baylor’s No. 22 jersey was retired by the Lakers on Nov. 3, 1983, and his statue at Staples Center was unveiled on April 6, 2018. Baylor is among six Lakers luminaries to have a statue outside of Staples Center, including Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal and former team announcer Chick Hearn.