Struggles As Coach, Executive
The expansion team New Orleans Jazz (now Utah) named Baylor an assistant coach in their first season in 1974. He became head coach in December 1976, replacing Butch van Breda Kolff. He left after the 1978-79 season, compiling an 86-135 record.
In 1986, Baylor became vice president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers, who were considered a second-fiddle to their city rival the Lakers both on and off the court, have mostly struggled, reaching the playoffs sparingly. Some NBA observers blame frugal and meddlesome owner Donald Sterling more than Baylor. "To be fair, Baylor has one of the toughest jobs in the NBA, working for the most notoriously stingy owner in the league, if not in the annals of sports. It could make anyone sensitive," Bob Laws wrote in the Santa Monica Mirror. "There's no doubt that Sterling should bear the brunt of the blame for the Clippers' ongoing woes," he explains.
Laws, however, does not spare Baylor. "But maybe it's time to take a closer look at 'Teflon' Baylor, beloved in this town for his heroics while playing for that other L.A. hoop team. The man is seemingly beyond reproach with the local media, who are happy to just blame it on Sterling. I guess this will always be a Laker town. Lucky for Elgin Baylor."