Rudy LaRusso was a five-time NBA All-Star who three times helped the Lakers reach the NBA Finals in the early 1960s.
One of the league's original power forwards, the 6-foot-7, 220-pound LaRusso averaged 15.6 points and 9.4 rebounds in 10 NBA seasons. For nearly eight seasons, his strength and defensive prowess provided the perfect complement to Elgin Baylor's gravity-defying acrobatics in the Lakers' starting front-court.
He ended his career in 1969 with the San Francisco Warriors, with whom he enjoyed his two most prolific seasons after emerging from the shadow of Lakers stars Baylor and Jerry West.
"Rudy and I go all the way back to our days together in Minneapolis," Baylor said when learning of LaRusso's death in 2004. "He was one of my favorite teammates ever, and we had some great times. He was a wonderful person and a good friend, respected by everyone."