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my sports knowledge is basketball

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BASKETBALL AND ELGIN BAYLOR

“Baylor established a Finals record: 61 points. Though the Celtics won the 1961-62 Championship, those Finals will be remembered for ever because game 5 was the stage for Elgin Baylor's best performance: he scored 61 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in a 126-121 Laker victory at the Boston Garden”.

This morning while I was working out I was watching the ESPN show “getup”.

Mike Greenberg did a commentary about Michael Jordan scoring 63 points against the Larry Bird led Boston Celtics in first round playoff series. He scored the points in a double or triple overtime game which was won by the Celtics. Mike Greenberg did not see either game as I did, I am older than him. Elgin Baylor’s performance took play in regulation time. Also Michael Jordan would have needed four games to collect 22 rebounds.

Red Auerbach once commented that in his opinion Elgin Baylor was the most dangerous individual player on the court. I did get to see him several times when he came to N.Y.C. to play at the garden. I attended both the old and new Madison Square Gardens.

I take nothing way from Michael Jordan as a great player however in my opinion Elgin Baylor was a notch better. He brought the Laker’s first from Minneapolis and then Los Angeles to the NBA finals many times only to lose to the Celtics because he was playing against the best of the best Bill Russell.

Bill Russell joined the Celtics in mid-season and they won the championship. Over the next 12 years they won 10 more and the two they lost were due to Bill Russell being either ill or hurt so he did not play.

I am more than sure had Michael Jordan been around during the Bill Russell era Celtics he would have suffered the same fate as Elgin Baylor. As a matter of fact I really do not believe Bill Russell would have lost during any period of time he played.

Lots of references towards LeBron James going to the finals 7 years in a row and 3 victories, not too shabby by any standard but Bill Russell did 8 in a row and won them all.

Elgin Baylor was unstoppable in his day and he would be unstoppable today if he were playing.

Having grown up in N.Y.C. and having a TV in I think 1947 I had the opportunity to see pro-games before the 24 second clock and saw how elusive Bob Cousy was in his youth.

In 1972 or so when the Knicks were a championship team I was at the garden and saw them down by 17 points with 4 minutes left in the game and Walt Frasier and Earl Monroe primarily put on a show and held their opponent the Milwaukee Bucks with Lew Alcindor (now Kareen Abdul Jabar) and Oscar Robinson scoreless and they won 88 to 87. In my opinion the best 4 minutes of basketball I was ever witness too.

If any of you out there knows how to contact ESPN tell them to resurrect the video of Elgin Baylor’s performance.

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