Reports: Baylor wins NBA executive of the year

Updated: May 14, 2006, 1:09 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Clippers' turnaround has reportedly paid off for Elgin Baylor.

Elgin Baylor
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Clippers hired Baylor as vice president of basketball operations in April 1986.

The Los Angeles Times and The Sporting News reported Saturday that the Clippers general manager has been chosen the NBA's executive of the year and will receive the award in a ceremony next week.

In voting conducted by The Sporting News, which sponsors the award, Baylor finished ahead of Bryan Colangelo, who in February left the Phoenix Suns for the Toronto Raptors. Colangelo, who won the award last year, also finished second to Baylor in NBA.com's survey of GMs, but The Sporting News award is the only one officially recognized by the league.

"I'm elated," Clippers forward Elton Brand told The Times. "He deserves it. Sometimes you don't get the credit you deserve, and Elgin hasn't, but people need to know he orchestrated putting this team together."

Both the NBA and Baylor, who is in his 20th season with the Clippers, declined to comment on the reports, but The Sporting News confirmed that he won. If the Clippers' second-round series against the Suns makes it to Game 6, Baylor would reportedly receive the award during an on-court ceremony at Staples Center.

"In a year when 16 executives got at least one vote, Elgin was still a clear winner," Stan McNeal, editor of The Sporting News, said. "To me ... that says his peers thought he was the guy this year. It was the Clippers' year, and it was Elgin's year."

This season, the Clippers had their highest victory total since moving to California and the second-best record in franchise history (47-35); set a road record with 20 wins; qualified for the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons; and won a postseason series for the first time in 30 years, beating the Denver Nuggets 4-1 in the first round.

"He's probably the lowest-paid GM, from what I hear," center Chris Kaman told The Times. "He's worked hard for it, and I'm glad to hear that it finally paid off."