He was a 11-time NBA All-Star with the Los Angeles Lakers who possessed a silky-smooth jumper and amazing athleticism.  In short, he revolutionized the game of basketball by taking the game from the ground into the air.  Yes, Elgin Baylor was far ahead of his time, and the world lost the Laker legend just a few days ago when he died from natural causes at the age of 86.

Baylor was a talented #5 FEIR who spent roughly 14 seasons with the Lakers in both Minneapolis and Los Angeles.  He was the precursor of greats like Julius Irving (#10 BCAR) and Michael Jordan (#6 BEIR), and spent most of his career playing alongside Jerry West (#6 BEIR), who called him  “one of the most spectacular shooters the world has ever seen.”  Baylor was a cool cat, no-nonsense type of guy, one who spoke plainly and had a special kind of wit.  He was also spiritually inclined throughout his life, often receiving guidance and counsel from a group of pastors he held close.  When he became the 10th person honored with a statue outside of Staples Center in a ceremony in 2018, Elgin stated, “I thank God for the gift that brought me here today.  I especially want to thank Him for life itself.”

It’s interesting to nose that Baylor struggled academically growing up.  He abandoned his studies in 1952 and dropped out of school due to his poor academic performance.  He worked at a furniture store, and two years later picked up his studies again, only to be rejected by most of the colleges he tried to enroll himself in.  A friend helped him to finally get accepted at the College of Idaho.  To be sure, #5s can be extremely intelligent (especially in all matters practical), but they are inherently fun-loving and freedom-seeking, often causing them to look beyond the 4 walls of a classroom, which Baylor certainly did.

Though Elgin had his travails as a long-time GM for the often bottom-dwelling L.A. Clippers, he was usually upbeat and saw life as an enjoyable challenge.  (His charming and #11 FCAL bride also helped balance his potential RB swings.) BTI founder Jon Niednagel had many opportunities to converse with Elgin in those days, thanks to now Orlando Magic GM, Jeff Weltman.  Jon got to know Jeff through the 1989 NBA Draft, where they met to especially discuss the top 2 potential picks, Danny Ferry and (Nervous) Pervis Ellison.

Jon wanted Jeff and the Clippers to know that both Ferry (#15 FCIL) and Ellison (#3 FEAL) weren’t likely to NBA excel;  BT being a key reason.  Quoting contemporary Wikipedia (with our BT inserts), “Despite eight of the top ten picks being considered busts, including the first two picks Pervis Ellison and Danny Ferry, the [1989] draft did produce many talented players such as Shawn Kemp (#6), Glen Rice (#9 FCAR), Sean Elliott (#2 BEAR), Nick Anderson (#9), Dana Barros (#6), Tim Hardaway (#6), Vlade Divac (#10), Clifford Robinson (#9), B. J. Armstrong (#2) and Mookie Blaylock (#6).”

As you can now witness, the other 10 players who all exceeded expectations, were entirely Right Brainers! (Hint: when debating [or choosing] 2 [or more] NBA prospects, it’s always safest to go RB!) Another BT insight: D Ferry (#15) decided he didn’t want to play for the lowly Clippers after they drafted him. So what’s a #15 Brain Ttype liable to do? Well, if anything like DF, they hold fast to their resolve, and over all objections, they pursue their dream. In ferry’s case, he decided to play in Italy for a year, before retuning stateside the next season when he gained new draft freedom.

Final interesting tidbit.  Elgin’s nickname was Elgin “Rabbit” Baylor because he once escaped some men trying to abduct him as a child.”  Wow!

Written by: Staff
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