An 11-time All-Star, Baylor averaged 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds per game for his career – one of only four players in league history to average at least 25 points and 10 rebounds – and once scored a career-high 71 points in a game in 1960. The Hall of Famer went to eight NBA Finals, but never won a championship. He retired due to knee injuries early in the Lakers’ 1971-72 championship season. “Elgin defined the forward position for my generation in terms of buckets and rebounding,” former NBA star Marques Johnson told The Undefeated. “Made it a thing to finish with creativity around the basket, reverses, tough-angle spins. Was Eurostepping in the ’60s.”
Michael Lee: I spoke to a couple of people, including a Hall of Fame legend, about Elgin Baylor. I won't reveal the HOFer yet but it was an honor to have him share how much Baylor influenced his game. Learned some things I didn't know. Looking forward to sharing what they had to say in the AM
Brad Turner: Keith Jones recalled how Elgin Baylor hired Jones in 1990 as the "first African American trainer in the NBA." "He gave me my chance. Elgin was a great man." Jones is now the senior VP of Basketball Operations/Head Athletic Trainer with Houston Rockets. "I loved the man."
Tom Orsborn: Pop on growing up watching Elgin Baylor: "(He) played a game that at the time nobody could handle. He was really fun to watch. I was a young guy and just watching him play with all his feints and fakes and double-pumps and everything. He was different from everybody else."
Brad Turner: Ron Harper, by Elgin Baylor in 1989, has a request for the Clippers. "The Los Angeles Clippers better retire his jersey. Yep as an executive. That should be the first one they retire. I don’t know who jersey they going to retire, but if they don’t retire Elgin, something is wrong. Something is wrong with that place. I don’t care what nobody tell me.”
Mark Medina: Pat Riley on Elgin Baylor's passing: "“Besides being one of the greatest players in the history of the game, Elgin Baylor was one of the classiest, most dignified men of integrity I have ever met. He will be missed.”
Brad Turner: Lakers legend @Magic Johnson on the great Elgin Baylor: "I really believe he was really the first Showtime. He was Showtime before Showtime. I think we just followed his lead. He was Showtime before Showtime and I want to give him that love and respect because it’s true.”
A somber Jerry West collected his thoughts as he reflected on his friendship and the bond he developed with former Lakers teammate Elgin Baylor. Baylor died Monday at 86, and West was saddened by the news but also, he said, grateful for the time the two of them had together. West and Baylor played 11-plus seasons together with the Los Angeles Lakers, becoming known as two of the best players in the game.
“I’m very sad,” said West, reached by phone Monday afternoon. “I guess I’m grateful to have shared some incredible times with him. He was just one of those unique individuals. “I just learned so much from him about how to carry yourself as a player, a person. Most of all, the times we spent together after games. … Oh my God. The respect you gain for someone like him. He went out of his way to be helpful to me in terms of growing up, sharing things with me, which I know I will cherish the rest of my life, I know that. He was just a great human being.”
West, 82, said he wondered how Baylor felt about missing out on the opportunity to win a championship. The Lakers had lost in the NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics six times during the 1960s. “I couldn’t ever ask him this question: I often wonder how he felt to see us win a championship and he only played about [nine] games that year,” West said. “When he retired, we won 33 straight games. I wonder what he felt like. With me, I would have probably felt like, ‘Oh, my God, how can I be just this incredible player and, without me, we win 33 straight games and win a championship.’ “I could never bring myself to ask him that. Never. I’m sure he felt like. … Who knows what he felt like? This will be a very reflective day for me, that’s for sure.”
Marc J. Spears: NBA commissioner Adam Silver on the passing of Elgin Baylor pic.twitter.com/vha8YCiRpc
Magic Johnson: RIP to the NBA’s first high flyer, Lakers Legend, & Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor. Before there was Michael Jordan doing amazing things in the air, there was Elgin Baylor! A true class act and great man, I’ll always appreciate the advice he shared with me when I first came into the pic.twitter.com/khPRc73gqW
Eddie Johnson: One of the best players ever and I am so blessed that I got to spend four hours playing golf with him multiple times 🙏🏿🙏🏿RIP ALL- TIME GREAT theathletic.com/news/elgin-bay…
StatMuse: Players with multiple seasons of 30+ PPG, 18+ RPG in NBA history: 1. Wilt Chamberlain, who was 7’1" 2. Elgin Baylor, who was 6’5" (Submitted by @AhaanRungta) pic.twitter.com/rQY0SH8MoJ
Mark Medina: Lakers governor Jeanie Buss on Elgin Baylor: "Elgin was THE superstar of his era." pic.twitter.com/G7KU6LHWmd
September 21, 2021 | 1:36 pm EDT Update
Complicating matters with that caveat of right now, of course, is the reality that the Sixers also do not appear close to a trade they are willing to go through with that gives Simmons his desired fresh start. More than two months after posting one of my Tuesday newsletter extravaganzas on Substack for the first time on July 13 — also a breakdown, on that occasion, of the latest on the Simmons front — Philadelphia looks no closer to a trade to bring an end to this stalemate.
Weeks of Philadelphia’s Simmons talks with various teams haven’t brought the Sixers to the brink of a deal, largely because Morey is the one faced with trying to get commensurate value for his All-Star and still asking for so much in return in his determination to recoup a trade package that, as one source put it, keeps Philadelphia in title contention. History, however, says that Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations shouldn’t count on getting a glittering package back when a deal finally materializes — his own history.
I reported Monday that the Sixers don’t expect Simmons to show and are resigned to try to keep working behind the scenes to try to convince him to reconsider that stance. After I published that, another source close to the situation told me: “Right now, I don’t see a scenario where Ben is back in Philly.” The source meant it with permanence. As in: Simmons’ career with the Sixers, to the source, is over.
I was told very clearly that the Sixers do not liken these circumstances to Al Horford’s last season in Oklahoma City or John Wall’s in Houston. As the start of training camp draws near, Philadelphia has shown zero interest to date in striking the sort of mutual agreement that Wall and the Rockets just hatched to shelve the former All-Star point guard.
The Sixers have not lowered the bar on what they’re seeking in a Simmons trade — yet. Toronto, Minnesota, Cleveland, San Antonio and Sacramento — all of them, league sources say, have engaged with Philadelphia in Simmons trade talks. They’re also all bubble playoff teams at best based in markets not known for attracting free agents and surely love the idea of acquiring Simmons when the 25-year-old is locked into three guaranteed seasons on his contract after this one.
Yet league sources maintain, as noted above, that the Sixers are actively trying to convince Simmons to rejoin the team even though he has made it clear to management that he doesn’t want to spend another second as a Sixer. I was told very clearly that the Sixers do not liken these circumstances to Al Horford’s last season in Oklahoma City or John Wall’s in Houston. As the start of training camp draws near, Philadelphia has shown zero interest to date in striking the sort of mutual agreement that Wall and the Rockets just hatched to shelve the former All-Star point guard.
Ian Begley: Nets GM Sean Marks says BKN has had ‘very positive’ conversations with both Kyrie Irving and James Harden about signing extensions. Says they are looking forward to continuing to talk to Irving and Harden about extensions over the next week or two.
Kristian Winfield: Sean Marks on James Harden/Kyrie Irving extension talks: “We’ve had very positive conversations with both of those guys and their family members. It always helps to do those things in person.” Says they’re going to resume talks in the next 2 weeks or so. #Nets