According to ESPN, Lost Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling testified during Elgin Baylor’s wrongful termination civil trial that he did not know of the basketball’s accomplished career and Hall of Fame induction. Baylor sued the team and its owner for wrongful termination and made claims of racial discrimination. Sterling hired Baylor as vice president of player personnel in 1986, apparently without knowing his credentials.
Baylor’s attorney questioned Sterling about the basketball star’s career. Sterling admitted he had no knowledge that Elgin Baylor was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 1977. Among his other accomplishments, Baylor was a number 1 draft pick in 1958, NBA Rookie of the Year in 1959 and an 11-time NBA All-Star player.
Sterling admitted on the stand that he had no idea about any of these major basketball accomplishments but did say that he hired him for $3,000 a month. According to Sterling, Baylor previously worked in a mail-order company. The team owner claimed on the stand that he gave Baylor free reign with decisions concerning the coaching staff and players.
Baylor filed a lawsuit against the team based on age discrimination and wrongful termination, he did decide to drop the charge of racial discrimination in recent weeks. The former Clippers general manager felt forced to resign in October 2008 after he felt discriminated against on account of his age. Baylor also alleges that he was grossly underpaid during his 22 year tenure with the Clippers.