Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Where are they now? E. Gay Baylor

Normally, I would pick some obscure person from a random point in history, but in honor of this week’s NBA Finals I am choosing one of the truly great players the game has ever known: Elgin Baylor.

Can you imagine how much different basketball history would sound if Elgin had gone by his middle name, Gay? That would be odd.

Elgin came to mind because he was a part of the first Lakers-Celtics finals series in 1959. Of course, the Lakers were in Minnesota back then…for those of you that always wondered why the hell a team was called the ‘Lakers’ and are nowhere near any kind of lake, there you go. The Lakers lost that series, but went on to be pretty good for a while.

Elgin was the #1 overall pick after a career that included stops in the Washington DC rec league, College of Idaho and Seattle University. All basketball powerhouses for certain.

He scored over 23,000 points and grabbed over 11,000 rebounds in his career before being elected to the NBA Hall of Fame in 1977.

In 1974, Elgin was hired as an assistant coach and later ascended to head coach for the New Orleans Jazz (yep, that explains the Utah thing, too…see, this is a history lesson folks!). He sucked as a coach and left after the ‘78-’79 season. He disappeared after that, but from what I can tell he made an appearance as the father of a dysfunctional family in the Chicago projects while starring in the TV sitcom Good Times. Like most big stars, he used a stage name…but that had to be him.

In 1986, he was hired as an executive with the Los Angeles Clippers where he still works today. They have had one good year in all that time, but I guess he’s waiting for the reunion movie before he gives up the basketball gig.


Hobson said...

Thanks for the getting the theme from "Good Times" stuck in my head.

Edwin Jarvis said...

Well at least your beans aren't burning on the least that's what the song in my head tells me about mine.