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View Full Version : The Artistry of Elgin Baylor



CavaliersFTW
10-10-2013, 04:39 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANH50UrlQk8

Incredibly rare collection of footage of one of the best to ever play the game

Chronz
10-10-2013, 05:20 PM
Saw this yesterday, was hoping you would post it here. Not my favorite player given his "feud" with Wilt but I shouldn't let that erode the legacy of a healthy Baylor. I dont have much footage from his prime days but he seemed to be one of the first great trick shot makers, mastering the difficult angles off the backboard or flip shots. That said, not a fan of the Julius/MJ comparisons. He was before them, but he wasn't quite like them either. I honestly wouldn't know who to compare him to given how little Ive seen of him but something like a cross between the Kangaroo Kidd or Shawn Marion (high rebounding smalls with great interior finishing skills) only with more 1 on 1 skill.

Byronicle
10-10-2013, 05:45 PM
Is it just me...

but most of those defenders are just awful

CavaliersFTW
10-10-2013, 06:24 PM
Not aware of any feuds with Wilt, but Baylor deserves all the MJ/Erving comparisons because he was on their level of dominance, he doesn't deserve a Cunningham and Marion comparison because they weren't. The reason he's compared to MJ and Erving more specificaly though is a direct comparison to their body control and shot selection around the rim that can be seen quite clearly in a few of the highlights.

The three of them had a unique ability to palm the ball and move it and their bodies around in mid-air and shoot any kind of shot you can imagine - falling on their back, backdoor from behind the backboard, over under and around any hand trying to block it. And Baylor did all that before Connie Hawkins, before Dr. J, and before MJ. He didn't have the vertical leap of MJ or Erving or the length of Hawkins (not many ever have though, really), but he's the first ever to exploit very two key ingredients of awesome hang-time on a regular basis. Body control with big hands and strong wrists to shoot the ball on the way down rather than needing to release at it's apex like most players have too.

He's of course, not exactly like Erving or MJ as those two players were built much more slight than Baylor, Baylor was built like a truck in comparison and was one of the best rebounders in the league when he played. But his dominance at the wing, his creativity, and his body control and big hands while in the air around the rim are what earned him those "MJ before MJ" comparisons. Most people assume he could jump high and that's where the comparisons stop - he wasn't an elite leaper, just a hang time artist.

asandhu23
10-10-2013, 07:26 PM
Is it just me...

but most of those defenders are just awful


Highlights tend to make defenders look ******.

CavaliersFTW
10-11-2013, 01:19 AM
Is it just me...

but most of those defenders are just awful

Guys like Satch Sanders with Bill Russell helping in the middle or in some of the Philly highlights Nate Thurmond - are all far from 'awful' defenders. Russell is the greatest defensive player of all time, and Satch for example was one of the greatest forward defenders of the 60's. A lot of times they won't play him tight because his drives were guaranteed points and he was such an incredible passer if you double him the open man is definitely going to get the ball. He also got players into foul trouble a lot. So the defenders aren't awful, they are just weighing their priorities and giving him what they hope will net them the least amount of damage. Zone defense was also illegal back then so it was just man to man. You can't stop a guy who can shoot running hooks and floaters with either hand and can shoot the ball on the way down, or pass like he does (especially with teammates like Jerry West).

Even with hand checking and pushing on him during his drives (which you should see quite clearly in that video) distrupting him was still a nightmare because he was 225-236lbs in his prime (during a time before players really lifted weights to get bulkier/stronger) and his body control was so good he could just absorb your contact and still get the shot off. He's the mold of an unguardable player. He's going to make any defense look bad.

bagwell368
10-11-2013, 03:49 PM
Guys like Satch Sanders with Bill Russell helping in the middle or in some of the Philly highlights Nate Thurmond - are all far from 'awful' defenders. Russell is the greatest defensive player of all time

Team zones were illegal. But sloughing off a man enough to also guard a passing lane or the paint wasn't called.

Only in his own era. Hakeem and KG had to face much tougher competition than Russell - who yielded 28.7 PPG and 28.7 RPG in a 140+ games career wise to Wilt. By my eye, they attained a higher level than Bill.

Baylor was the first forward that played the game over the rim. His peak wasn't that long. In his time he was like Dr. J. but also was a much more dominant low post scorer/rebounder then Dr. J - in huge part because the level of competition was so low pre 1965. I think he averaged 19.8 RPG one year, what's he get now? 6 RPG?

CavaliersFTW
10-11-2013, 05:10 PM
Team zones were illegal. But sloughing off a man enough to also guard a passing lane or the paint wasn't called.

Only in his own era. Hakeem and KG had to face much tougher competition than Russell - who yielded 28.7 PPG and 28.7 RPG in a 140+ games career wise to Wilt. By my eye, they attained a higher level than Bill.

Baylor was the first forward that played the game over the rim. His peak wasn't that long. In his time he was like Dr. J. but also was a much more dominant low post scorer/rebounder then Dr. J - in huge part because the level of competition was so low pre 1965. I think he averaged 19.8 RPG one year, what's he get now? 6 RPG?
Yeah, see your opinion is entitled to you and all but the problem is I think you've never seen Russell's era and I'd bet money you don't even know who 90% of any of the other players are in all those Elgin clips in this mix much less what any of them were capable of. I'm guessing you have seen Hakeem's/KG's era which is of course why you'd think so highly of it. So really what this all boils down to is that your just basing your criticisms and praise all on things you've actually seen from 1 era, and comparing it with literally nothing but pure speculation, imaginion, assumptions and preconceived notions based off of other peoples imagination, speculation and assumptions about another era.

I could be wrong and I apologize if I am, it's just that phrases like "level of competition so low pre-1965" and suggesting 19.8 rebounds somehow equates to SIX today makes me think I'm not, and that your just trolling everyone with an uninformed opinion. The level of competition in Baylor's era didn't take a great leap at any season during his career. His numbers drooped after 1965 because he shattered his knee cap and was never the same afterwards. Someone who wasn't just making assumptions about that era would know that.

Chronz
10-16-2013, 02:40 AM
Not aware of any feuds with Wilt,
Elgin envied the attention Wilt got when he came to LA and Wilt hated that Butch prioritized the incumbent above someone who actually knew what it took to win a chip. They both clashed with their preferred shot locations (Wilt wanted the low post for himself, Elgin needed it for his drives). I dont know how much of a rivalry it was but I do know that the 2 didn't mesh well by then... at all ... I dont think its a coincidence his team ran off the greatest win streak in history the minute he retired.



but Baylor deserves all the MJ/Erving comparisons because he was on their level of dominance,
I disagree but ok


he doesn't deserve a Cunningham and Marion comparison because they weren't. The reason he's compared to MJ and Erving more specificaly though is a direct comparison to their body control and shot selection around the rim that can be seen quite clearly in a few of the highlights.
The comparison is solid, no joke, I just got past a chapter in "Dynasty's End" where they too made the comparison. And saying hes Marion with better 1 on 1 skills is in no way offensive.