Basketball legend Elgin Baylor has passed away at the age of 86. Members of his family, along with the Los Angeles Lakers organization, shared the news earlier today. In a brief statement, Baylor's wife, Elaine, and his daughter, Kyrstal, remarked on his incredible life not only on the court, but also the contributions he made off of it.
"Elgin was the love of my life and my best friend," Elaine Baylor stated.
"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."
As a revolutionary figure in the sport of basketball, Baylor is best remembered for his time with the Los Angeles Lakers. During his time in the NBA, he appeared in 11 NBA All-Star Games and was selected to the All-NBA team ten times. To this day, he holds the single-game NBA Finals scoring record with 61 points against the Boston Celtics. He was also the 1958-1959 NBA Rookie of the Year and the 1959 NBA All-Star Game MVP.
"Elgin was THE superstar of his era -- his many accolades speak to that," Los Angeles Lakers Owner Jeanie Buss wrote.
"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."
Baylor's career earned him a spot in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and he is one of only six players to earn a statue outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. His number, #22, was retired by the franchise in 1983. He will be missed by his family, the Lakers, the NBA and fans around the world.
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