It was an evening filled with legends of Los Angeles Lakers past as the stars came out for the unveiling of all-time great Elgin Baylor’s statue outside of STAPLES Center on Friday.
The ceremony, which was open to the public, featured names like Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mitch Kupchak, Shaquille O’Neal and even Kobe Bryant, who sent in a video to pay his respects to the 11-time All-Star.
Bryant said in the video that he is especially thankful for Baylor because he “stole so many” of his moves.
“Hopefully this generation of basketball players understand that doesn’t come from me, that doesn’t come from Jordan,” Bryant said, “it comes from players like yourself and thank you so much for everything you’ve done and much, much, much love to you, Elgin.”
Baylor’s former teammate and close friend, Jerry West, also shared a few touching words about him in an emotional speech.
Jerry West got emotional talking about Elgin Baylor. Talked about being a scared rookie from West Virginia, welcomed warmly by Baylor. pic.twitter.com/PIkvf8PDeQ— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) April 7, 2018
“I loved him like a brother and I still do today,” West said. “This is one of the greatest men I’ve ever met in my life.”
Baylor now joins West as one of the few players fortunate enough to get a statue outside of the world famous STAPLES Center. You can see the unveiling of the statue in the video below.
All quotes transcribed via Spectrum SportsNet unless otherwise noted.