LA jury rules in favor of Clippers against Baylor

A jury has rejected Elgin Baylor’s claim of age discrimination

and harassment, giving the Los Angeles Clippers a major victory

against their former general manager.

The Los Angeles Superior Court jury on Wednesday declined to

award Baylor any damages. He claimed he was forced out of the job

he held for 22 years.

The Clippers had contended that Baylor left the team on his

own.

Baylor, a 76-year-old Hall of Fame player, had no comment after

leaving the courtroom.

Baylor’s attorney, Alvin L. Pittman, had asked that his client

be awarded about $2 million for past and future lost wages as well

as for emotional distress, urging jurors to reject the Clippers’

argument that Baylor left on his own.

”We thought from day one that there was no merit to this

case,” Clippers attorney Robert H. Platt said. ”I commend the

organization for not succumbing to the temptation to settle the

case and to see it through to a jury verdict.”

The jury deliberated about 4 1/2 hours over Tuesday and

Wednesday.

Jury foreman John Casani of Pasadena said the panel believed

that Baylor was not the victim of ”disparate treatment” because

of his age. He said any dissatisfaction with Baylor by team

officials resulted from the woeful performance of the

franchise.

The Clippers’ best record during Baylor’s time as GM was 47-35

in 2005-06, but during most of the other years, they finished below

.500 and did not make the playoffs.

Baylor sued the Clippers and the NBA in February 2009, alleging

race- and age-related discrimination. His attorneys dropped the

racism allegation before trial, along with all allegations against

the league.

Current team President Andy Roeser is 51. Baylor said Roeser

treated him differently because of his age. Roeser acknowledged

during the trial he suggested to Donald Sterling in 2005 that

Baylor should be replaced, but said the owner rejected the

idea.