This Day In Lakers History: Elgin Baylor Selected No. 1 Overall By Minneapolis In 1958 NBA Draft
Darryl Norenberg-USA TODAY Sports

On April 22, 1958, the Minneapolis Lakers selected Elgin Baylor with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. He spent two seasons playing in Minneapolis, then the remaining 12 years of his career playing for the franchise in Los Angeles.

Although he tends to be forgotten among the greats to play the game, Baylor was a pioneer. He introduced a jump shot to the sport and had an array of offensive moves that included flying through the air like today’s athletes commonly do.

Lakers president of basketball operations and fellow Hall-of-Famer Magic Johnson lauded Baylor for playing the game with a style and flare that he and others could not mimic. Kobe Bryant happily admitted that he used Baylor as a muse to learn from.

Baylor averaged 24.9 points per game, 15 rebounds and 4.1 assists en route to earning Rookie of the Year honors. He’s 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.

Baylor ranks first in franchise history in rebounds (11,463), third in points (23,149) and sixth in assists (3,650). He averaged 30 points in each of the first three seasons after the team moved to Los Angeles, helping them establish a foothold in the city that still lasts to this day.

Baylor’s 61 points against the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the 1962 NBA Finals still stands as an all-time record. The Lakers retired Baylor’s No. 22 jersey on Nov. 9, 1963, and honored him with a statue outside Staples Center on April 6, 2018.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Lakers News: Russell Westbrook Happy To See Dennis Schroder & Thomas Bryant Having Success In Expanded Roles

The Los Angeles Lakers seem to be turning their season around, winning five straight games to improve to 19-21 and get back…

Anthony Davis: Austin Reaves Has Been ‘Doing It All’ For Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are on a win streak for a change, coming away victorious in their last three contests against…

Lakers News: Kyrie Irving’s Agent Denies Reports He ‘Hates’ Nets’ Sean Marks & Steve Nash

The Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason moves still hinge on the chaos within the Brooklyn Nets organization and whether…

Lakers News: Frank Vogel Has Cautious Plan For Markieff Morris

One of the more underrated moves the Los Angeles Lakers made was adding Markieff Morris after he was bought…