Higher on all-time list: Elgin Baylor vs Kawhi Leonard

Moderators: Quotatious, Clyde Frazier, trex_8063, Doctor MJ, penbeast0, PaulieWal

Who do you rank higher?

Elgin Baylor
18
64%
Kawhi Leonard
10
36%
 
Total votes: 28

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Re: Higher on all-time list: Elgin Baylor vs Kawhi Leonard 

Post#21 » by Doctor MJ » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:37 pm

freethedevil wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
freethedevil wrote:would draymond not fitting with kd or curry be a good analogy?


Well I think KD would be the more appropriate analogy though the analogy isn't exact.

With Baylor, whether it was by his volition or not, instead of the Lakers re-orienting everything around West in around 1964, they let Baylor chuck for the next half decade. Baylor should have been finding a way to play that was less geared toward him acting as the offensive star.

With Wilt, you're literally talking about him getting petulant when asked to play the non-scoring, non-playing role he would eventually accept, which would then result in him winning a title in LA after he had destroyed the first coach's reputation.

With KD the issue isn't really the primacy or even the fact that he wasn't the best fit with the style of play but the fact that he started getting butthurt and then taking it out on the people around him he wanted so desperately to join.

I meant theoretoically if their playstyles didn't mesh. Their play did mesh, coz dray meshes with everyone lol.


A 60's enthuiasist i talked to said the lakers should have just trraded baylor for complimentary pieces.


Ah. Well there's truth in that, but I think the reality is that Baylor didn't really look to adapt around his teammates and this was the issue more than the fact that Baylor had a particular set of strengths. And to be fair to Baylor, it really doesn't seem like anyone was even trying to get him to change how he played, and there are very few David Robinsons out there who specifically look to give the reins to the young buck.
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Re: Higher on all-time list: Elgin Baylor vs Kawhi Leonard 

Post#22 » by Sublime187 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:44 pm

I just think it is not fair for Leonard to be chastised for one game. He did under perform mightily but the guy has a peak that is basically top 20 and I think that is IMO much higher then where I would put Baylor.
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Re: Higher on all-time list: Elgin Baylor vs Kawhi Leonard 

Post#23 » by trex_8063 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:58 pm

70sFan wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
70sFan wrote:I've heard a lot of people putting Kawhi already in top 5 SFs ever recently, but now after bitter moments for him I'd like to ask you all - has Kawhi done enough in his career to put him over Elgin Baylor?

Baylor still has significant longevity advantage, although their true primes are more comparable.

Baylor's true prime is 1959-63, before his body started to break down. Elgin also had his last dance season as a superstar in 1968, when he was a very strong second option to one of the best offensive teams of his era (and he played well in postseason overall).

Kawhi's prime is 2015-20, without 2018 season of course.

Kawhi is more efficient scorer and better defender (Baylor was good before injuries). Elgin is more creative offensive player and better playmaker.

Who would you rank higher on your all-time list?


You probably know I'm not a Baylor guy. From my perspective he spent about half of his career getting in West's way, during which they never got over the hump. I honestly don't remember who I put ahead last time I made a list, but passing Baylor on my list is not hard.

I know you're not, but I think it's way too simplistic way to look at their situation. I don't think Baylor and West primes really coexisted at any point. West made significant improvement in 1965 and Baylor wasn't himself since 1964. You can blame him for his lack of adaptability when he was past his prime (and I agree, Baylor shoulf have done better especially in 1969 and 1970), but it doesn't make his prime worse. He shouldn't have given West a supremacy before 1964, because West wasn't clearly better than him then. It was visible in 1962, when Lakers did much worse without him than with him when he missed time due to military service.

There is another aspect of that situation - West respected Baylor, he respected his game so much that he'd never give up on taking how great Baylor was. They were friends off the court and West was happy with their fit on the court. I think that lack of more fluid change of roles after 1964 is caused by both men to be honest.


Personally, I agree, and I've mentioned this to Doc previously. I mean, Jerry was the guy with the ball in his hands usually [with Baylor frequently off-ball, at least as the ball is brought up]. If anyone has the power to reduce Baylor's usage, it's Jerry.

The other thing I'll note----having logged a few 60's Laker games (the project 70sFan is helping me with)----there's relatively little by way of structured offense or ball-movement happening for those Laker teams: most often the "offensive play" boils down to Jerry or Elgin tries to make something happen in isolation.
If that was indeed a consistent "philosophy" of the offense, one has to allow that Jerry could not be expected to be that guy every single possession......it would be far too draining. From that standpoint, it had to be split up a bit.
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Re: Higher on all-time list: Elgin Baylor vs Kawhi Leonard 

Post#24 » by trex_8063 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:03 am

To answer question in OP, for me it's still pretty comfortably Elgin Baylor (and it's mostly a longevity thing).

Although this is a more realistic career for Kawhi to surpass eventually, and I'll not be surprised to see him do so on my ATL before he's done. He's frequently getting tossed around with top-20 candidates, and I personally just don't get it. For me, that boat has probably already sailed: he's just missed so much time already, and the writing on the wall seems to indicates he's probably not going to have stellar late-career production/impact.

But Baylor [who I currently have roughly in the mid-30's on my ATL] is a realistic spot/player for Kawhi to surpass eventually.......but he's not done it yet [for me].
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Re: Higher on all-time list: Elgin Baylor vs Kawhi Leonard 

Post#25 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:52 am

trex_8063 wrote:
70sFan wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
You probably know I'm not a Baylor guy. From my perspective he spent about half of his career getting in West's way, during which they never got over the hump. I honestly don't remember who I put ahead last time I made a list, but passing Baylor on my list is not hard.

I know you're not, but I think it's way too simplistic way to look at their situation. I don't think Baylor and West primes really coexisted at any point. West made significant improvement in 1965 and Baylor wasn't himself since 1964. You can blame him for his lack of adaptability when he was past his prime (and I agree, Baylor shoulf have done better especially in 1969 and 1970), but it doesn't make his prime worse. He shouldn't have given West a supremacy before 1964, because West wasn't clearly better than him then. It was visible in 1962, when Lakers did much worse without him than with him when he missed time due to military service.

There is another aspect of that situation - West respected Baylor, he respected his game so much that he'd never give up on taking how great Baylor was. They were friends off the court and West was happy with their fit on the court. I think that lack of more fluid change of roles after 1964 is caused by both men to be honest.


Personally, I agree, and I've mentioned this to Doc previously. I mean, Jerry was the guy with the ball in his hands usually [with Baylor frequently off-ball, at least as the ball is brought up]. If anyone has the power to reduce Baylor's usage, it's Jerry.

The other thing I'll note----having logged a few 60's Laker games (the project 70sFan is helping me with)----there's relatively little by way of structured offense or ball-movement happening for those Laker teams: most often the "offensive play" boils down to Jerry or Elgin tries to make something happen in isolation.
If that was indeed a consistent "philosophy" of the offense, one has to allow that Jerry could not be expected to be that guy every single possession......it would be far too draining. From that standpoint, it had to be split up a bit.


The last part doesn't explain why Baylor got his number called more than West though, but of course, the former does. If West had more of a "Mamba mentality" he'd have taken higher primacy from Baylor, and maybe things would have gone considerably better.
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Re: Higher on all-time list: Elgin Baylor vs Kawhi Leonard 

Post#26 » by Odinn21 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:32 am

I feel like the modern understanding kind of caused Doctor MJ to lose some perspective about those times TBH.

When the environment and the tools to improve were too different and more importantly when they had less to learn from, it feels a bit unfair criticism.

I mean "a player limiting or changing the way he plays would benefit the team" is a very modern way to look at those times. It was a time when most of the players stepped on the court, they wanted the most they could do - so the way they played would be the best.
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Re: Higher on all-time list: Elgin Baylor vs Kawhi Leonard 

Post#27 » by 70sFan » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:57 am

Also, it's not necessarily true that Baylor got his numbers called more than West. Let's look at shooting attempts for both of them (per36):

1963/64
Baylor: 22.8 FGA, 7.5 FTA, 4.4 APG (20.2/6.7/3.9)
West: 21.2 FGA, 9.8 FTA, 5.6 APG (18.9/8.7/5.0)

1964/65
Baylor: 25.7 FGA, 8.2 FTA, 3.8 APG (22.4/7.2/3.3)
West: 22.4 FGA, 10.7 FTA, 4.9 APG (19.4/9.3/4.3)

1965/66
Baylor: 15.9 FGA, 5.2 FTA, 3.4 APG (18.8/6.1/4.1)
West: 21.9 FGA, 12.4 FTA, 6.1 APG (19.4/10.9/5.4)

1966/67
Baylor: 23.7 FGA, 7.7 FTA, 3.1 APG (22.1/7.2/2.9)
West: 21.0 FGA, 10.4 FTA, 6.8 APG (18.7/9.2/6.0)

Baylor shot more from the field, but he didn't usually have more shooting attempts than West - Jerry drew much more fouls than him. Of course we could argue that Baylor shouldn't have been that close in volume to West (which is probably true) but it doesn't change the fact that they didn't eat each other's scoring possessions.
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Re: Higher on all-time list: Elgin Baylor vs Kawhi Leonard 

Post#28 » by feyki » Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:12 pm

I could compare them based on peak and prime, Kawhi needs still too many years. Kawhi has a better defence and more efficient. Baylor was better playmaker, rebounder and higher volume scorer. I would prefer or in my truths of basketball, defence and efficiency are more important to make impact. But Elgin's volume scoring is top 5-10 goat level and it's put him in the different tier. Kawhi is closer to peak Dirk, Baylor was closer to peak KG.
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