LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elgin Baylor, the Lakers’ 11-time NBA All-Star, has died.
The Lakers said Monday that Baylor died of natural causes in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter by his side. With a silky-smooth jumper and fluid athleticism, Baylor played a major role in revolutionizing basketball from a ground-bound sport into an aerial show.
He was the first NBA player to surpass 70 points in a game. Lakers great Jerry West called him “one of the most spectacular shooters the world has ever seen.”
His coaching career began when the expansion New Orleans Jazz hired him as an assistant coach for their debut season in 1974, and he eventually replaced Butch van Breda Kolff as coach during the 1976-77 season, going 86-135 in parts of three seasons.
Pete Maravich’s Jazz never made the playoffs, and Baylor resigned after the 1978-79 season.
Elgin Baylor was 86 years old.