Like so many Angelenos introduced into pro basketball in 1960 if the Lakers transferred from Minnesota, Gail Goodrich desired to be like Elgin Baylor. Baylor’s drama and Chick Hearn’s narration were the introduction into the appeal of the NBA into the city.
Unlike a lot of these Angelenos, Goodrich finally got to play Baylor and watch beyond the reserved, understated veneer which Baylor proposed.
Since Baylor’s passing on Monday, much was written regarding his on-court dedication and heritage, about the way his match inspired basketball’s development over the rim. However, for Baylor’s teammates, there was a lot more… like the way he always appeared to have the answers to what.
“I believe Elgin was great as anyone. However he had been very reserved. He was quite wise. “He understood about the horses. Knew about creatures because he loved creatures. Among his favorites:’what’s the fastest animal on the planet?’ It is a cheetah. But not many individuals actually knew that. He always understood that things — which trivia. He had been a trivia nut” Following is a bit of trivia that Laker fans may not understand: Why did the staff quit playing poker together?
“He would take all our cash. He had been a poker player. We had to prohibit poker on the group since he and Jerry West, they had been carrying men’ per diem on the street,” Goodrich said with a huge laugh. “He had beat Chick all of the time at gin rummy. And he would take Chick’s cash.
“They would land in a town and they would begin gambling on whose bag would come out to the luggage shelf — these sorts of things”
Told when the Lakers were at Minneapolis, Baylor had a custom of pranking his teammates stealing their shoes once they slept, Goodrich again whined.
He would give everyone nicknames. However he is really booked. He was not outgoing to the media. He was not. He was quite reserved. He went on his manner. He would answer inquiries, be very, very pleasant, but he was not only outgoing than most of the other gamers at Los Angeles.”
Baylor used to tease his teammates with his power and traction — over just one NBA legend, such as Julius Erving, compared Baylor into Kawhi Leonard in discussions with The Times on Monday.
Attempt to take it from my hands. “Men would choose their fists and struck the ball as he hauled it out and could not budge it. He was so powerful and so bodily and so fast.