No one ever talks about Elgin Baylor the player.
He averaged 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds per game over a stellar 13-year NBA career, yet his story has never been told, unlike those of his well known contemporaries, such as Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Bill Russell, to name a few.
On the latest episode of Bill Rhoden On Sports, we’re joined by author Bijan Bayne, who talked to Bill about his newly released book, Elgin Baylor: The Man Who Changed Basketball.
“Well, he does get lost in time because by ’60-’61 he’s a teammate of West, so there’s that,” Bayne, told Bill, referring to Baylor.
“He also lost every Finals to the Russell, Havlicek [Celtics]. Baylor doesn’t have that winning shot or that moment that can stand the test of time.”
Regardless, Baylor, as Bayne points out, is credited with introducing the acrobatic, high-flying drives to the basket that greats like Julius Erving and Michael Jordan later took to another level.
Bayne also asserts that Baylor’s presence on the Minnesota Lakers enticed owner Bob Short to move the team to Los Angeles, banking on Baylor’s marketability. This, in turn, led to basketball becoming popular in Southern California, which contributed greatly to John Wooden’s dynasty at UCLA.
Bayne also shared with us many other things he learned while writing the book, as well as what he considers Baylor’s legacy to be, both on the basketball court and as an executive for 12 years with the Los Angeles Clippers and under Donald Sterling.
Also in this episode, Bill and I talk Cam Newton, the undefeated Panthers and whether Newton is the front-runner for the NFL MVP award. We hear from Cam in his own words.
Listen to the latest Bill Rhoden On Sports for all of this and more.
Follow the Bill Rhoden On Sports podcast on Twitter @BROSpod.