When the Big “E” retired he was the second leading scorer in NBA history behind only Wilt Chamberlain at the time, even now he is still the sixth leading scorer of all time and the fourth all-time leading rebounder.
He was as deadly an outside shooter as he was inside and was an iron man, missing only nine games in his entire career and finished 3rd in total minutes played and fifth in the total number of games played. All this added up to a career scoring average of 21 points and 12 rebounds per game.
Elvin Hayes became one of the first Afro-American student athletics at the University of Houston back in 1965 and was one of 100 Afro-American students at the 20,000-student school. Elvin Hayes helped turn the University of Houston into a national powerhouse under the direction of head coach Guy V. Lewis.
In what was billed as the “game of the century," the Houston Cougars faced the undefeated and riding a 47-game winning streak UCLA Bruins, led by Lewis Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). Elvin Hayes made two free throws at the end of the game to hand Alcindor and his Bruins their first lost.
This set the stage for Hayes to be drafted by the expansion San Diego Rockets, preparing for their second season, made him the first overall pick of the 1968 NBA Draft. As a rookie for the Rockets in 1968-69 he led the league in scoring with 28.4 ppg, ranked fourth in rebounding with 17.1 per game, and started at center for the West in the NBA All-Star Game.
He also set an NBA rookie record for minutes played in a season (3,695), averaging 45.1. During his second season the Rockets relocated to Houston and Hayes was coming home.
But Hayes had problems with the new Rocket coach Tex Winter and after his first season in Houston Hayes was traded to the then Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets, where Hayes played for the next nine seasons.
He was then traded back to the Houston Rockets before the 1981 season. He started at forward next to Moses Malone for the 1981/82 season playing in all 82 games he averaged 16 points and nine rebounds per game at the age of 36.
He played a reserve roll the next two seasons still only missing one game in each before retiring after his 16th NBA season.
Now can everyone guess who my number one power forward is?