We discuss the Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers NBA Finals rivalry between 1959 and 1969 with Bijan C. Bayne, author of “Elgin Baylor: The Man Who Changed Basketball,” in our continuing #RussellMania series dedicated to the life and legacy of Bill Russell. We break down each of their seven NBA Finals battles (1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968 and 1969), talk about Elgin Baylor's rise to superstardom and his role in popularizing basketball in Los Angeles, Baylor's revolutionary influence on offensive play, the basketball and social parallels of Russell and Baylor, how Baylor was the first NBA player to boycott a game because of segregation, Baylor's relationships with longtime teammate Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain, some of the other key Lakers of the 1960s (including Frank Selvy, Rudy LaRusso, Tom Hawkins, Hot Rod Hundley, Dick Barnett, Leroy Ellis, Gene Wiley, Walt Hazzard, Bob Boozer, Archie Clark, and Gail Goodrich), what Don Nelson's failure in Los Angeles and success in Boston said about both teams, and much more.
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