Elgin Baylor is one of the forgotten greats of the NBA. He had a strange path to the league, being a mediocre high school student first. That forced him to The College of Idaho, which limited scholarships after his first season. A fan helped him get to the University of Seattle but he had to sit out a year and played AAU ball instead.
He was actually drafted but chose to play for Seattle and then left after his junior year when the was the #1 pick, which was unusual then.
He was drafted by Minneapolis and played there for one year before the team moved to Los Angeles.
These highlights are from the 1958 championship game against Kentucky. Seattle lost but Baylor had a big game.
As you’ll see his game wouldn’t cut it today. He can’t dribble with his off hand and plays in a style that now looks curious.
However, you can see he has outstanding reflexes and instincts. For one, he makes some beautiful passes here.
Keep in mind that Bill Russell just started in the NBA in 1958 and Wilt Chamberlain would arrive a year after Baylor.
Basketball was about to change a lot.
In the late ‘60s, Chamberlain joined Baylor on the Lakers. Baylor retired partway through the 1972 season and Jim McMillan took his place in the lineup - and LA went on a record-setting 33 game win streak and won the title.