NBA Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor has died at the age of 86.
According to a statement released by the Los Angeles Lakers, Baylor died of natural causes with his wife, Elaine, and his daughter, Krystal, by his side.
“Elgin was the love of my life and my best friend,” 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.”
Baylor was an 11-time All-Star and 10-time All-NBA pick during his 14 seasons with the Lakers from 1958 to 1971. He was the 1958-59 Rookie of the Year and the All-Star Game MVP that year. Baylor was one of just four players in NBA history to average at least 25 points and ten rebounds over his career. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977.
“Elgin was THE superstar of his era — his many accolades speak to that,” Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said in a statement.
“He was one of the few Lakers players whose career spanned from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. But more importantly he was a man of great integrity, even serving his country as a U.S. Army reservist, often playing for the Lakers only during his weekend pass. He is one of the all-time Lakers greats with his No. 22 jersey retired in the rafters and his statue standing guard in front of STAPLES Center. He will always be part of the Lakers legacy. On behalf of the entire Lakers family, I’d like to send my thoughts, prayers and condolences to Elaine and the Baylor family.”
The Lakers retired his No. 22 jersey in 1983.
Rest in Power, Elgin Baylor.