Lakers’ Gail Goodrich praises Elgin Baylor for revolutionizing NBA
A versatile talent who was among the first to perform jump shots on a regular basis, those who remember Hall of Fame forward Elgin Baylor’s outstanding career will say he was ahead of his time. For her peers, Baylor would “revolutionize” the sport, as former teammate Gail Goodrich told Peter Vecsey on the Hoop du Jour podcast.
“He has, in many ways, helped revolutionize the game,” Goodrich begins. “I mean he had remarkable skills.”
“He was taking the ball off the defensive rebound, and he was going the length of the field on the dribble and beating everyone on the field. He was so fast and so strong. He could stay suspended in the air… he was just head and shoulders – skill-wise – above everyone else.
“He has, in many ways, helped revolutionize the game.”
From one Lakers legend to another, Gail Goodrich shares her personal experience of being alongside Elgin Baylor, one of the most talented and athletic players of her time. 🙌
(via @NBAalumni, Hoop of the Day with @PeterVecsey1) pic.twitter.com/GGbN46I07K
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) February 2, 2023
Baylor passed away in March 2021 and was later honored by the Lakers, the NBA and stars such as LeBron James.
The former first overall pick was an 11-time All-Star, 10-time All-NBA selection and 1959 Rookie of the Year. Although his final two seasons were blighted by injuries, particularly a torn Achilles, Baylor still ended his illustrious career with stunning averages of 27.4 points, 13.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.
Baylor has also stood out for its refusal to accept racism and oppression. A story told about the DC native is how he refused to play in an exhibition game shortly after joining the Lakers because the hotel refused to serve him and two other players. While similar stories from this era focus on the character and strength of men like Bill Russell, Baylor was there too, revolutionizing the game with more than just his athletic feats.