The Los Angeles Lakers honored another of their franchise icons on Friday with the unveiling of an Elgin Baylor statue at Star Plaza outside Staples Center. Baylor became the 10th figurehead to be enshrined outside of the arena.
Prior to Baylor, retired L.A. Kings broadcaster Bob Miller was last to receive the honor of a statue. In terms of ties to the Lakers, Baylor joins Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West and Shaquille O’Neal as those who are represented at Staples Center in bronze form.
Baylor’s state was created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany. The ceremony included appearances and speeches by West, Johnson, O’Neal, Abdul-Jabbar, musical legend Bill Withers and Stu Lantz.
After that, it was time to unveil the statue, which depicts Baylor shooting a sweeping left-handed hook shot.
Elgin Baylor statue just unveiled. pic.twitter.com/G8KxmcsEH3
— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) April 7, 2018
The Minneapolis Lakers selected Baylor with the first overall pick in the 1958 Draft. He averaged 24.9 points per game, 15 rebounds and 4.1 assists en route to earning Rookie of the Year honors.
The Hall-of-Famer resides as the Lakers’ all-time leading rookie scorer with 1,742 points. It’s an accomplishment all the more remarkable when considering Baylor did not have the benefit of a three-point line.
Overall, he ranks first in franchise history in rebounds (11,463), third in points (23,149) and sixth in assists (3,650). Baylor averaged 30 points in each of the first three seasons after the team moved to Los Angeles.
His 61 points against the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the 1962 NBA Finals still resides as an all-time record. The 11-time All-Star spent the entirety of his 14-year career with the Lakers franchise. They retired Baylor’s No. 22 jersey on Nov. 9, 1963.