Elgin Baylor played basketball from 1958 to 1971 as small forward for the Minneapolis Lakers and, when the team moved to Southern California in 1960, the Los Angeles Lakers.
From 1961 to 1962, Baylor served on active duty in the Army and was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington.
Instead of using his weekend liberty to go home or party with friends, Baylor used this time to continue playing for the LA Lakers, driving or flying to each game.
However, Army duties came first, and Baylor only managed to play 48 games during the 1961-62 season, but he scored more than 1,800 points. He averaged 38 points, 19 rebounds and five assists in each of those 48 games.
In all, Baylor appeared in eight National Basketball Association finals and helped to carry his team as a gifted shooter, rebounder and passer.
He was named NBA Rookie of the Year in 1959, and he was an 11-time NBA All-Star and a 10-time member of the All-NBA first team.
He's known as one of basketball's greatest players, and in 1977, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Other inductees include: Julius Erving, Larry Bird, James Worthy, Scottie Pippen, Dominique Wilkins, Rick Barry, Cheryl Miller and Sheryl Swoopes.
Unfortunately, Baylor is widely regarded as the greatest NBA player never to win a championship.
Following his time with the Lakers, Baylor served as coach for the New Orleans Jazz in 1974 and from 1976 to 1979.
He then served as vice president of basketball operations for the LA Clippers from 1986 until he retired in 2008.
In 2006, he won the NBA Executive of the Year award.
Baylor was also a minor Hollywood star, appearing on the TV series "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" in 1968, the Jackson 5's first TV special in 1971, an episode of "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century," and "Olympiad" in 1980.
On April 6, 2018, a large, bronze statue of Baylor was unveiled at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. He attended the ceremony along with his fellow basketball greats Jerry West, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal.