Elgin Baylor

In 1958 the Lakers the Lakers used the No. 1 overall pick in the 1958 NBA draft to select Elgin Baylor. The Lakers needed some saving and they were looking at Baylor to do it. The year before he came the Lakers finished 19-53 and needed some serious help. Baylor kind of saved the franchise because as the owner of the Lakers, Bob Short, said at that time "If he had turned me down then, I would have been out of business, the club would have gone bankrupt." Thankfully Elgin came to the rescue immediately changing the franchise to the old winning ways they were used to in the George Mikan days. They went from being a last place team the previous year to reaching the NBA Finals in Elgin's first year as he won the Rookie of the Year Award averaging 24.9 points per game. The Lakers lost in the finals that yer to the Boston Celtics and that began the rivalry. Unfortunately Elgin would get the Lakers to the finals eight times but never won an NBA championship. He was a high scoring machine, his best season averaging 38.3 PPG. His was also a great rebounder, his best season averaging 19.8 RPG.He finished his career with 23,149 points, 3,650 assists and 11,463 rebounds over 846 games. In 1977 Baylor was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame and in 1980 he was named to the NBA 35th Anniversary All-Time Team and again in 1996, he was named to the NBA 50thAnniversary All-Time Team.