LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A ceremony will be held Friday outside the Staples Center to unveil a statue for Los Angeles Lakers legend Elgin Baylor.
Baylor, an NBA Hall of Famer and one of the 50 greatest players of all time, will be honored with a 1,500-pound, 12-foot-high bronze statue.
The ceremony, scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. ahead of the Lakers’ matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves, is free and open to the public.
After taking Seattle University to the NCAA title game in 1958, The 83-year-old Baylor was the No. 1 overall pick by the then Minneapolis Lakers that year. The Lakers moved to Los Angeles in 1960. Baylor spent his entire 14 year career with the Lakers.
Along with Jerry West, Baylor lead the Lakers to the NBA Finals eight times, all losses. He retired only nine games in the 1971-72 season, the day before the Lakers began their 33-game winning streak, the longest of any team in North America’s four major professional leagues. The team won its first NBA championship in Los Angeles that season.
Baylor went on to coach the New Orleans Jazz between 1974 and 1979. He then served as general manager of the crosstown L.A. Clippers for more than two decades, retiring in 2008.
The statue was designed by sculptors Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany.
Baylor’s statue will be the ninth outside Staples, joining Wayne Gretzky, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Chick Hearn, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Luc Robitaille, Bob Miller and Oscar De La Hoya.
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