Elgin Baylor, or “Rabbit” as he was affectionately nicknamed for his blazingly fast, untiring and acrobatic playing style that transformed basketball from a horizontal game to vertical one played above the rim, is widely recognized as one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the game—and one of the NBA’s first black superstars. But his legacy stretches beyond his spectacular, jaw-dropping shots and dunks. Elgin Baylor was a forerunner in the National Basketball League, playing alongside trailblazers like close friend Bill Russell and sometimes-nemesis Wilt Chamberlin, enduring racist chants and breaking records as they simultaneously broke down color barriers.
Elgin Baylor played fourteen seasons in the NBA for the Minnesota/Los Angeles Lakers, appearing in eight NBA finals. A #1 draft pick, NBA Rookie of the Year, and eleven-time NBA All-Star who was named to the All-NBA First Team ten times, Elgin is considered one of the game’s all-time greatest players. After retiring from the NBA as a player, he coached the New Orleans Jazz, and in 1986 became the general manager of the Los Angeles Clippers, a position he held for twenty-two years. In 2006, he was named NBA Executive of the Year. This past April, Elgin received a statue outside of Staples Center to commemorate his legacy as a Los Angeles Laker.
His new book, “Hang Time: My Life in Basketball” details Mr. Baylor’s life and relationships, including meeting his beautiful wife Elaine, hardships of his youth, and his decades of experience as a collegiate and professional athlete.