The Lakers confirmed the news on Twitter. “Elgin was the love of my life and my best friend,” said his wife, Elaine. “And like everyone else, I was in awe of his immense courage, dignity and the time he gave to all fans. At this time we ask that I and our family be allowed to mourn his passing in privacy.”
Baylor joined the Lakers in 1958, when the team was still the Minneapolis Lakers, and played there until 1971. An 11-time NBA All-Star, Baylor was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977. He’s among a group of players frequently listed as the greatest to never win a championship.
“Elgin was THE superstar of his era,” said Lakers governor Jeanie Buss. “He was one of the few Lakers players whose career spanned from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. But more importantly he was a man of great integrity, even serving his country as a U.S. Army reservist, often playing for the Lakers only during his weekend pass. He is one of the all-time Lakers greats with his No. 22 jersey retired in the rafters and his statue standing guard in front of STAPLES center. He will always be part of the Lakers legacy. On behalf of the entire Lakers family, I’d like to send my thoughts, prayers, and condolences to Elaine and the Baylor family.”