This past season, LeBron James averaged an amazing 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists, winning his fourth NBA MVP Award. Listed at 6’8 and 250 pounds (but probably closer to 6’9 and 275), James’ physical attributes make him dominant amongst almost any NBA player today.
Before that, Elgin Baylor had one of the most dominate seasons in history.
As the time has passed since Baylor’s career ended, his accolades have slowly become forgotten, except amongst the NBA’s most faithful fans. Because of his time spent as the General Manager for that other team in Los Angeles, many younger fans probably think of the Clippers before the Lakers when Baylor’s name is mentioned. Well, it is time for that to change.
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During the 1961-62 season, Elgin Baylor put together one of the most amazing seasons ever recorded, and yet it is rarely, if ever, talked about. Baylor, in all of his 6’5 and 225 pound glory, averaged 38.3 points and 18.6 rebounds per game that year.
The numbers themselves are impressive enough. Now, wrap your head around the fact that Baylor did this while being on active duty for the United States Army Reserves and could only play while on a weekend pass.
In other words, as a part-time NBA player, with no practice time at all during the season, Baylor nearly averaged a Chamberlain-esque 40 points and 20 rebounds per game.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, in Game 5 of the NBA Finals that season Baylor would score a still-standing NBA Finals record 61 points, along with 22 rebounds, in a victory over the Boston Celtics.
When we think of Laker legends, Magic, Kobe, Kareem, and West are always brought up. On this day, Lakers Nation remembers one of the greatest doing something that will never be matched.
Lakers Nation salutes you, Elgin Baylor.
Here is a tribute video of the legendary career of Elgin Baylor, including highlights from his 1961-62 season:
Have you seen our exclusive interview with Elgin Baylor? If not, check it out below and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel by clicking here!