Ray Felix is ranked 81st all-time in the NBA with 8.9 rebounds per game. Drafted second overall by the Baltimore Bullets in 1953, the 6-foot-11 center was the 1953-54 rookie of the year after averaging 13.3 rebounds, which ended up being his career best.
Felix spent the last 2½ seasons of his nine-year NBA career with the Lakers after being traded by the New York Knicks for Dick Garmaker in January 1960.
His best statistical season with the Lakers was his first, when he averaged 7.2 rebounds per game (third best on the team). By his final season, in 1961-62, his average had dropped to 5.9 rebounds (seventh on the team).
Still, the Lakers had plenty of respect for Felix, who was a supervisor at a shelter for the homeless in Harlem, N.Y., when he died of a heart attack in July 1991. He was 60.
"He was one of the first big men," Lakers teammate Tom Hawkins said in The Times’ obituary of Felix. “Ray didn't have the speed or mobility or jumping ability of some of the younger guys, but he could still give you some good, aggressive play. He didn't back down from anybody."
Feb. 12, 2011