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The Lakers legend — and Hall of Famer — Elgin Baylor died of natural causes on Monday, March 22, 2021. According to the Lakers, the 86-year-old’s death died of natural causes in his Los Angeles, California home. His daughter Krystal, and wife — Elaine — were by Baylor’s side at the time of his passing.
Elgin Gay Baylor was born on Sept. 16, 2934, in Washington, D.C. According to IMDb, he has had three nicknames throughout his life — Mr. Inside, Motormouth, and Rabbit. He has married a total of three times.
In his younger years, he married a woman named Barbara. Their marriage ended with an annulment in 1955. On June 22, 1958, he married Ruby Saunder. The couple had two children before they divorced in 1974. On Sept. 17, 1977, he married his widow Elaine Cummingham. They were married for 43 years and had one child together.
Baylor played a major role in transfiguring basketball from a ground-bound sport to an aerial show. According to IMDb, he holds the All-Star Game career record for most free throws made. He made 78 free throws throughout his career.
According to IMDb, from 1958 to 1959 he played for the Minneapolis Lakers. He played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1959 to 1972. After which he began working as the New Orleans Jazz’s assistant coach. From there he became the Head Coach for the team.
From 1986 until 2008, Baylor worked as a personnel executive for the Los Angeles Clippers. He filed a lawsuit against the Clipper’s owner — Donald Sterling — and the NBA for race and age discrimination.
After news of the Lakers legend’s death broke many people took to social media to pay tribute to him. Earvin Magic Johnson posted on his Twitter page, “Before there was Michael Jordan doing amazing things in the air, there was Elgin Baylor!”
Mo Bamba tweeted, that the legend “boycotted a Lakers exhibition game in 1959 in West Virginia when he wasn’t allowed to stay at the first hotel & be served at a restaurant.” Bamba further wrote, “Made real change… RIP.”
He is survived by his wife, three children, and various friends. May he rest in peace.
Written by Sheena Robertson
IMDb: Elgin Baylor
Sports Net: Hall of Famer, Lakers legend Elgin Baylor dies of natural causes at 86
Basketball-Reference: Elgin Baylor
Featured Image Courtesy of Kate Gardiner’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License