Elgin Baylor: The Most Underrated Season of His Career
When it comes to the storied franchise of the Los Angeles Lakers, one can’t help but think of the plethora of titles and legends, but one player who seemingly is overlooked is former forward Elgin Baylor. Baylor is one of the few Lakers legends to never win a championship during his career. However, Baylor is still in the Hall of Fame and for good reason. With that in mind, we are going to look at what the most overlooked season of his legendary career was, as we have for NBA greats like Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and Larry Bird. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at the most underrated season of Elgin Baylor’s career.
Elgin Baylor: His Most Overlooked Season
Elg’s 1962-63 Campaign
The Los Angeles Lakers were able to reach the NBA Finals in this season. Unfortunately, they ran into the Boston Celtics. A Celtics team who was in the middle of arguably the greatest dynasty in all of the sports at the time.
The Lakers lost to the Celtics 4-2 in the 1963 NBA Finals but they still had an impressive season. A significant factor in the team’s success was due to the ability of the great Baylor, who squarely in his prime with his fifth consecutive All-Star selection. The Lakers would finish the regular season with a win-loss record of 53-27. Baylor would lead the team in win shares during this particular season with a number of 14.4.
What makes Baylor’s statistical output more impressive was the fact that he was playing with another co-star in the legendary Jerry West. Even still, the D.C. native tallied an insane 34.0 points and 14.3 rebounds per game! Finishing his career as an 11-time All-Star and 10-time All-NBA Team member, the man known as “Mr. Inside” led the Lakers to the Finals while only losing three postseason games before the NBA Finals began. Despite not coming away with a title, Baylor had nothing to be ashamed of in this season.
Elgin Baylor: His 1962-63 Numbers
While Baylor did average 38.3 points per game the season before, he also only played 48 games that year. During the 1962-63 campaign, Baylor played 80 games (while notching 34.0 points and 14.3 rebounds per game).
The league had not started keeping track of advanced statistics during that time, so we only have basic stats of his to analyze throughout his career. However, the numbers are still very impressive. Baylor would also manage a field goal percentage of 45.3% to couple with a free throw percentage of 83.7%. Not to mention, Mr. Inside would also average an impressive 4.8 assists per game during this particular season.
Baylor may have not won a title in his career, but he is still one of the best players to have ever graced the court in NBA history. His 1962-63 season helps warrant that statement, as one of the most overlooked campaigns of sustained dominance.