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Lakers Season Countdown: 22 days, Elgin Baylor

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In this series, we will count down the days until the Lakers first regular season game on October 28th. Each day we will discuss who wore that number best, and who wears it now or who wore it last.

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Harry How/Getty Images

We're getting ready for a brand new season of Los Angeles Lakers basketball, so to count down the days we'll be looking at the best Lakers to wear the number. We'll continue at 22 days until the regular season begins, with the man simply known as "Mr. Inside".

Who wore it the best: Elgin Baylor

(Credit: Sports Illustrated, Getty Images)

The Minneapolis Lakers used the No. 1 overall pick in the 1958 NBA draft to select Elgin Baylor. They then convinced him to skip his senior year at Seattle Univeristy and instead join the Lakers. According to Minneapolis Lakers owner Bob Short, Elgin Baylor saved the Lakers franchise: "If he had turned me down then, I would have been out of business. The club would have gone bankrupt." Baylor was a 10-time All-NBA First Team selection and 11-time NBA All-Star. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1977. He is often regarded as the greatest NBA player never to win a championship. Elgin Baylor played 14 season in the NBA, all with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Baylor began to be hampered with knee problems early in his career. The problems culminated in a severe knee injury during the 1965 playoffs. Baylor was never quite the same, as he never again averaged above 30 points per game. Baylor finally retired nine games into the 1971-72 because of his nagging knee problems. The Lakers did go on to win a championship that year, and gave Baylor a ring even though he was not an active player.

Seasons w/ Lakers

Years

ppg

rpg

apg

spg

bpg

mpg

Elgin Baylor

14

1959-72

27.4

13.5

4.3

-

-

40.0

Who wore it last: Elgin Baylor

Nobody will ever wear this number again, as the Lakers have retired it. It will forever sit in the rafters at Staples Center.

#22 - Who has worn it:

Donnie Forman (1949)

Slater Martin (1950-1956)

Ron Feiereisel (1956)

McCoy Ingram (1958)

Elgin Baylor (1959-1972)