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Kobe Bryant Legendary Thoughts On Elgin Baylor: 'He Was Dr. J And Michael Jordan Before Dr. J. & Michael Jordan.'

Kobe Bryant Legendary Thoughts On Elgin Baylor 'He Was Dr. J And Michael Jordan Before Dr. J. & Michael Jordan.'

It's been a tough couple of years for the Los Angeles Lakers franchise. Despite winning last year's NBA Championship, 2020 will always be marked as the year that the basketball world lost Kobe Bryant. Now, 13 months later, the purple-and-gold said goodbye to Elgin Baylor, another living legend within the organization.

Long before LeBron James, Kevin Durant, or even Scottie Pippen, and Larry Bird; there was Elgin Baylor. Elgin was considered a master in his craft and the best small forward to ever do it thanks to his ability to score at will and dominate both sides of the glass.

That's why, a decade ago, Kobe Bryant opened up on how Baylor helped him shape his game, going as far as to say that he was a combination of Dr. J and Michael Jordan before they even made it to the league:

“Everything I heard about Elgin, everything I read about Elgin, was that he was Dr. J and Michael Jordan before Dr. J. & Michael Jordan. He gets to the basket and does all these incredible things. But I want to know how to get to the basket. It’s cool to be able to do all those fancy things, but how did you get there?… He had great footwork, very explosive first step and very strong. And we forget his size, how big he was and how strong he was. So once he did that shoulder and got by players, it was basically… at his mercy," Bryant told ESPN.

That's not a reach at all. Baylor was, in fact, as good as those who came after him. Sadly, he could never win an NBA Championship and that's perhaps why younger fans don't talk about him as often as they should.

The Lakers now have two more angels hooping above us and looking down on them. Here's to another legend: Rest in Power, Rabbit!