• Elgin Baylor, former Seattle University and Lakers star, hosts Seattle book signing

    By: David Solano

    Updated:

    One of the greatest players in NBA history returned to his old stomping grounds on Friday.

    Elgin Baylor, who played basketball at Seattle University and spent his entire career with the Lakers, hosted a book signing at The Elliott Bay Book Company.

    Dozens were on hand to grab a copy of Baylor's new book “Hang Time - My Life In Basketball.” 

    "My wife and I we're always talking and communicating,” Baylor said. “[We’re always] talking about different things in life. And one day she said, ‘Why don't you write a book.’" 

    “Hang Time -- My Life in Basketball” tells the story of Baylor growing up in Washington, D.C., and facing racism while finding an escape in the sport that he loves.

    Baylor helped Seattle University punch its ticket to the national title game in 1958 against Kentucky.

    "[In the] first couple of minutes [of the game], I think I had two or three fouls called on me,” Baylor said. “And I'm saying, ‘This is ridiculous.’ [I] said something to the referee [because he] didn't call the foul or anything. And he told me, ‘Shut up boy.’"  

    Baylor, who was selected No. 1 overall by the Minneapolis Lakers in 1958, wasn't allowed in a West Virginia hotel in 1959 and refused to take the court for the Lakers.

    Taking a stand is something he also writes about in his new book.

    “I said, ‘We're not going to be treated like circus animals.’ You know, wait until the time comes [and then] you open the cage and we come out and play. I said, ‘We're human beings just like everybody else and we should be treated that way.’" 

    It seemed natural to ask him about the NFL's new national anthem policy, which requires players to stand or stay in the locker room.

    "I don't think they [NFL] should be out there trying to discipline the players or anything like that unless they've done something that's wrong,” said Baylor. "They have to do everything within their power to make sure the players are treated fairly." 

    KIRO 7 asked Baylor if Seattle will ever get another NBA team and he said “maybe” in the future.

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