LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers denounced a bronze statue of Elgin Baylor in a center of Staples Center’s Star Plaza before Friday night’s diversion opposite a Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Lakers respected Baylor with a video reverence featuring former teammates, associate Laker legends and important adversaries, including West, Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Pat Riley, Bill Russell, James Worthy, Jamaal Wilkes, Gail Goodrich and Walt Frazier.
“Chick Hearn pronounced he was improved than anybody he had ever seen,” James Worthy pronounced in a tribute.
“He was unique. He helped build basketball here. The Lakers wouldn’t be a Lakers but him,” Jerry West pronounced in a tribute.
The Lakers comparison Baylor with a initial altogether collect in 1958. According to former Lakers and stream group tone commentator Stu Lantz, Baylor’s attainment — and evident success and value — expected saved a Minneapolis Lakers authorization from declining altogether.
“Rumor has it that a Minneapolis Lakers, had they not been means to get Elgin, they might have left under,” pronounced Lantz, who moderated a ceremony. “In essence, Elgin kind of saved a Lakers. That’s some of a reasons since we’re here today.”
Baylor played 14 seasons with a Lakers — dual in Minneapolis and 12 in Los Angeles. He has career averages of 27.4 points, 13.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 846 games.
Bryant, who was incompetent to attend a ceremony, paid loyalty to Baylor with a apart minute-long video.
“Personally, we would like to conclude we since I’ve stolen so many of your moves — it’s not even funny,” Bryant said. “… Hopefully this era of basketball players know that doesn’t come from me, that doesn’t come from Jordan — it comes from players like yourself.”
After a video tribute, West, Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, O’Neal and mythological musician Bill Withers any gave speeches about Baylor on a dais, while several former Lakers attended a rite in a crowd, including Worthy, Wilkes, Michael Cooper and former Lakers actor and ubiquitous manager Mitch Kupchak.
West, who was teammates with Baylor for 12 seasons, was a many romantic speaker, ripping adult during several points and bestowing a top probable regard on Baylor.
“This is one of a biggest group I’ve ever met in my life,” West said.
Following West’s speech, a Lakers denounced a 2,300-pound, scarcely 16-foot-9 statue. The statue was combined by artists Omri Amrany and Gary Tillery, both of a Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany.
“I positively conclude all a smashing things people have pronounced about me,” Baylor said. “But but a smashing teammates, [this] positively wouldn’t have been possible. I’d only like to conclude my teammates.”
Baylor was inducted into a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977. The Lakers late his No. 22 jersey in 1983. He was an 11-time All-Star (All-Star Game MVP in 1958-59), a 1958-59 Rookie of a Year and 10-time All-NBA first-team selection.
Baylor was a initial actor to measure 70 points in a game, removing 71 opposite a New York Knicks on Nov. 15, 1960. Baylor binds a all-time single-game Finals scoring record with 61 points opposite a Boston Celtics.
Information from a Associated Press was used in this report.