Lakers Pay Tribute To Elgin Baylor With Video, Moment Of Silence & Jersey Stripe

The Los Angeles Lakers have been mourning the loss of Elgin Baylor after he died at the age of 86 earlier this week. The organization paid a special tribute to the legendary forward ahead of the showdown with the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.

The Lakers’ 109-101 loss to the 76ers was the team’s first game at Staples Center since Baylor’s passing. And before tip-off, the franchise honored his memory with a minute of silence and a video celebrating his legacy. The video featured archival footage from Baylor’s Staples Center statue unveiling ceremony.

Lakers legends including Magic Johnson, Jerry West, and the late Kobe Bryant can be heard in messages recorded for the ceremony taking place back in April 2018. The video also mentions Baylor’s social activism and commitment to the push for racial equality and justice, which was followed by a moment of silence:

L.A. faced the Sixers wearing the white and blue City Edition uniforms dedicated to Baylor as part of the Lore Series line. A black stripe with the NBA great’s initials adorned the jersey’s front left shoulder.

Ahead of the game, Kyle Kuzma spoke about Baylor’s greatness both on and off the floor. “I saw a crazy, crazy stat of him the other day that said, I think this is 1961,” he said.

“He was listed in the Army. He could only play on the weekends and averaged 39 and 19 for the season and only played 45 or 46 games. That’s an unbelievable stat. That just shows you how great he was as a player, but he was a great man, too.”

And head coach Frank Vogel emphasized Baylor’s unique style that inspired generations of future basketball stars. “The creativity that he showed in his game is something that many spoke of and you have someone like Dr. J saying that he used to emulate Elgin and his mid-air moves,” he said.

“I think that speaks volumes and he’s just going to be missed by the entire Lakers community and NBA community.”

Dwight Howard, Danny Green collected championship rings for 2020 title with Lakers

In another poignant moment preceding the tip-off on Thursday, former Lakers players Dwight Howard and Danny Green collected their championship rings for the title they won with L.A. last season.

After a brief presentation, the two veterans put the rings on their fingers, posed for photos, and then fist-bumped each before taking revenge on the Lakers again this season. In January, Philadelphia beat the reigning NBA champions 107-106 dealing them their first away loss of the 2020-21 campaign.

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