Los Angeles Lakers: 5 best players to never win a ring with the team

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images /
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Los Angeles Lakers
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1. Elgin Baylor

Decades before LeBron James burst onto the scene, the prototypical forward was the Los Angeles Lakers’ Elgin Baylor. From 1959-1972, Baylor wreaked havoc on the league with career averages on 27.4 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists.

A 10-Time All-NBA First Team member, 11-time All-Star, and member of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players of All Time, Baylor was one of the league’s first true superstars.

So what deterred Baylor from bringing a championship to LA?

Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics. During Russell’s 13-year career, the Celtics won the title a record-setting 11 times and, at one point, won eight championships in a row.

Although Baylor never won an NBA title, he was no stranger to the bright lights. In fact, Elgin set the record for most points in the NBA Finals with a 61-point outing in Game 5 of the 1962 NBA Finals against the Celtics. This record still stands today.

After a truly historic career, the then 37-year-old Baylor finally called it quits just nine games into the 1972 NBA season. Just one game after his retirement, Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West won the first of 33 straight games. After setting an NBA record 69 wins, the Lakers would finally capture the elusive NBA championship.

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Despite retiring ringless, Elgin Baylor’s jersey hangs in the rafters at Staples Center and he is without question one of the best Lakers ever.