The Los Angeles Lakers will unveil an Elgin Baylor statue in Star Plaza outside of Staples Center on Friday, April 6. The ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. PT, with the formal unveiling expected around 6:20 p.m.
The event is open and free to the general public, which can gather on Chick Hearn Court. The Lakers, Staples Center and AEG commissioned the creation of a 1,500-pound bronze statue that stands nearly 17 feet tall. It was created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany.
Baylor joins Wayne Gretzky, Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West, Shaquille O’Neal, Luc Robitaille, Bob Miller and Oscar De La Hoya as those to be enshrined outside Staples Center. Before Baylor, Miller, the retired L.A. Kings broadcaster, was last to receive the honor.
In terms of ties to the Lakers, O’Neal was the franchise’s last representative. His statue is arguably the most unique, as it is affixed to the side of Staples Center and depicts O’Neal throwing down one of his powerful slam dunks.
When the Lakers first announced their plans to honor the Hall-of-Famer with a statue, Baylor suggested that it incorporate his famous grin. “I guess my smile to show my teeth,” he said.
It was a modest recommendation by Baylor, who expressed his gratitude for the organization selecting him as their next honoree. In addition to Baylor, former teammates, colleagues and friends are scheduled to give speeches during Friday’s ceremony.