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Tag:Elgin Baylor
Posted on: June 1, 2011 8:55 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 9:12 pm

Lakers to retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey

The Los Angeles Lakers will reportedly retire center Shaquille O'Neal's jersey. Posted by Ben Golliver. shaquille-oneal

Throughout Wednesday, tributes to Shaquille O'Neal have poured in from the likes of NBA commissioner David Stern after the center announced his retirement on Twitter.

The Los Angeles Lakers will honor O'Neal in the most visible way possible: by retiring his No. 34 jersey. reports that a Lakers spokesperson has committed to retiring O'Neal's jersey but does not yet have a timeline in mind.
"We don't have any specific timetable on this, but you can be assured we will retire Shaq's jersey," said Lakers spokesman John Black in an email on Wednesday.

"We don't have a specific policy on it," Black wrote. "As you know, players have to wait five years to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but we could possibly do a jersey retirement ceremony for Shaq prior to that."
O'Neal paired with Lakers guard Kobe Bryant to win three titles for the franchise. His time with the Lakers is generally regarded as the high point of his career, making the jersey retirement decision a no-brainer.

Earlier Wednesday, Lakers owner Jerry Buss recognized O'Neal for that accomplishment in a press release.

"Shaq had a long and amazing career," Buss said. "A huge impact both on and off the court.  His contributions were significant to the entire NBA, but we specifically appreciate what he did with and what he meant to the Lakers during his eight years with us. We have three championships that we wouldn’t have won without him, and we will forever be grateful for his significant contributions to those teams."

It will be interesting to see which -- if any -- of the other teams that O'Neal played for will follow suit. Orlando, where he began his career, would seem to be a no-brainer. Despite the heartbreak of leaving the city for the Lakers, he was the face of the franchise and guided the Magic to the NBA Finals. Miami is another possibility. O'Neal teamed with guard Dwyane Wade to help the Heat win the 2006 title. His other stops -- Phoenix, Cleveland and Boston -- will probably pass.

The Lakers have only retired the jerseys of seven players to date. All seven have been selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

The full list: 
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar -- No. 33
  • Elgin Baylor -- No. 22
  • Wilt Chamberlain -- No. 13 
  • Gail Goodrich -- No. 25
  • Magic Johnson -- No. 32
  • Jerry West -- No. 44
  • James Worthy -- No. 42
Posted on: May 10, 2011 1:18 pm
Edited on: May 10, 2011 1:34 pm

Pat Riley, Gar Forman share Executive of the Year

Miami Heat president Pat Riley and Chicago Bulls executive Gar Forman will share the 2011 NBA Executive of the Year Award. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Their teams are poised to face off in the Eastern Conference Finals after finishing with the top records in the Eastern Conference and enjoying two of the busiest summers last season.

Sure, it's a copout, but it's not a total surprise that Miami Heat president and Chicago Bulls GM Gar Forman will share the 2010-2011 NBA Executive of the Year award. 
In his 13th season with Chicago and second as its general manager, Forman saw the Bulls win a league-best 62 games, rookie coach Tom Thibodeau earn the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2010-11 NBA Coach of the Year, and Derrick Rose become the youngest player to win the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2010-11 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player. Forman transformed a 41-win Bulls team by signing free agents Carlos Boozer, Ronnie Brewer, and Kyle Korver among others. 
Riley entered his 16th season with the Heat as the architect of arguably one of the most successful offseasons in NBA history. Riley re-signed Dwyane Wade, and signed perennial All-Stars Chris Bosh and LeBron James to form the core of a team that went on to win 58 games and capture the second seed in the Eastern Conference. 
Forman and Riley received each received 11 of a possible 30 votes from a panel of their fellow team executives throughout the NBA. The Bulls’ John Paxson finished third with three votes and San Antonio’s R.C. Buford finished fourth with two votes. Oklahoma City’s Sam Presti, New Jersey’s Billy King and New York’s Donnie Walsh received one vote each.
Riley and Forman offer dueling roster construction theories. Riley, obviously, has embraced the top-heavy approach by catering to the whims of two superstars (plus a semistar) and filling out the rest of the roster with spare parts and bit pieces. Forman has taken a more traditional approach, methodically building around a franchise point guard by collecting role players that complement his skills. 

Which approach will win out on the court? We should know the answer to that in a few weeks. But both are worthy of recognition even if that means we must swallow a tie for the first time in the history of this award, which dates back to 1972-1973. That Paxon also received three votes seems like it should have served as a tie-breaker, but oh well.

Previous winners of the award include Milwaukee's John Hammond (2009-2010), Denver's Mark Warkentien (2008-2009), Boston's Danny Ainge (2007-2008), Toronto's Bryan Colangelo (2006-2007) and the Los Angeles Clippers' Elgin Baylor (2005-2006).
Posted on: March 30, 2011 2:26 pm
Edited on: March 30, 2011 5:54 pm

Court rejects Elgin Baylor's Clippers lawsuit

sterling-baylorA California court has rejected former Los Angeles Clippers GM Elgin Baylor's lawsuit against his former team. Posted by Ben Golliver. 

Update 5:53 p.m.: The Clippers released the following statement, which is just about as smug as you're going to get. 
Following is a statement from Los Angeles Clippers’ General Counsel Robert H. Platt, concerning today’s legal decision:
Today's verdict was inevitable and it represents a complete vindication of all of the baseless claims asserted by Mr. Baylor.
For more than two years, Mr. Baylor’s counsel has gone to extraordinary lengths in a fruitless effort to fabricate a case.  This was a case of FIRE!, ready, aim. The jury saw through their baseless rhetoric and quickly realized that there were no facts to support any of Mr. Baylor’s allegations.
Mr. Baylor initially sued the NBA, only to dismiss the League on the eve of trial in exchange for the League agreeing not to pursue a malicious prosecution case against Mr. Baylor.   
In addition, Mr. Baylor and his lawyers held a loud press conference claiming race discrimination. However, the Court threw out Mr. Baylor’s meritless race claims just one day before the trial was set to begin.
Solely on principle, my clients refused to settle this lawsuit despite having the opportunity to do so. Even when faced with endless, public, malicious attacks, they were resolute in their demand that they be fully exonerated by a jury. That moment has now come.

My clients are to be credited for their willingness to see this through.  Personally I am gratified to know that this was a day on which justice was well-served.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a California jury has unanimously rejected a lawsuit brought by former Los Angeles Clippers GM Elgin Baylor against his former team. Baylor had been suing for millions in damages steeming from "age discrimination" and "harassment."
A Los Angeles County jury Wednesday declined to award damages to NBA great Elgin Baylor, rejecting his lawsuit against the Clippers for unlawful termination based on age discrimination.
By a 12-0 vote, the seven-man, five-woman jury informed Judge Kenneth R. Freeman that neither the team nor owner Donald T. Sterling or president Andy Roeser presided over a hostile workplace in which alleged harassment occurred.
Baylor, 76, the Clippers' 22-year head of player personnel as general manager and executive vice president, was asking for nearly $2 million in economic and mental distress damages over his 2008 departure from the team.
Here's an outline of some of Baylor's allegations against Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

During the lawsuit's court proceedings, Sterling said that he didn't know who Baylor, a basketball Hall of Famer, was when he originally hired him to run the team.

Complaints against Sterling as an employer and business owner have accumulated over the years and he made national headlines this year when he heckled his team's point guard, Baron Davis, from his courtside seats. Nevertheless, Sterling is a bit of a Teflon Don, finding ways to skate out of legal predicaments over and over again.
Posted on: March 16, 2011 3:15 am

Donald Sterling didn't know who Elgin Baylor was

Clippers owner Donald Sterling testifies he did not know of Baylor's career when he hired him. Seriously.
Posted by Matt Moore

Donald Sterling is such a lovable, popular guy these days. In the same day that it was revealed his organization refused to help cover an assisant coach's prostate surgery following th revelation of cancer, Sterling testified in Elgin Baylor's wrongful termination suit against him that he had no knowledge of the NBA legend's career when he hired him.


From the Los Angeles Times
You didn't know about his basketball career?" Baylor attorney Carl Douglas asked Sterling in his first day on the stand as Baylor's wrongful termination civil lawsuit against the team continued at a Los Angeles courthouse. "His accomplishments? The Hall of Fame?"

"No," Sterling answered. "... I didn't know that. I hired him for $3,000 a month. I didn't really know what his role was.... He was working in a mail-order company back then."
via Clippers owner Donald Sterling testifies he knew little of Elgin Baylor's career when he hired him -

Los Angeles Lakers' owner Jerry Buss is known to have introduced Sterling to the prospect of buying the Clippers and moving them from San Diego to L.A.. Based on that fact, it's reaching the point where a tax may need to be put in place on Buss for him to pay back the amount of blown potential revenue for the league had anyone else owned the Clippers. 

How can you possibly own an NBA team and not know who Elgin Baylor is? What kind of gap in common knowledge has to stand between you and everyone else in your field to be ignorant of a legend in the endeavor you've taken on? 

Sterling continues to embarrass the NBA at every turn, and David Stern continues to stand idly by and watch.
Posted on: January 7, 2011 11:47 am
Edited on: January 7, 2011 11:48 am

More allegations of Sterling misconduct surface

Further allegations revealed that Donald Sterling has engaged in unacceptable behavior as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Posted by Matt Moore

For those who pay attention, allegations that Donald Sterling has displayed racist, unconscionable, penny-pinching behavior and a sole pursuit of profit in the face of opportunities to win should be the polar opposite of shocking. But learning the depths of just how hollow his moral mine shaft is reported to be always makes for a nice story, and today is no exception. ESPN has obtained more court documents in Elgin Baylor's case against Sterling. Take us to the highlights, J.A. Adande:

"Because of the Clippers unwillingness to fairly compensate African-American players we lost a lot of good talent, including Danny Manning, Charles Smith, Michael Cage, Ron Harper, Dominique Wilkins, [Corey] Maggette and others," Baylor said.

Okay, well there are always reasons to pass on players, and while Sterling's character history doesn't necessarily support the idea that these decisions weren't racially motivated, it's difficult to argue without providing context for where the team was at in its manifest and where those players were at in their careers. So hey, this one's probably duck-able. What else?

Dunleavy said that during a team trip to Russia in 2006, Clippers officials were dining at a restaurant called Rasputin when Platt, the Clippers' attorney, told him that the Clippers thought Baylor was too old and they were going to fire him. While the Clippers told Dunleavy that Baylor only wanted to work for two more years, Dunleavy said he never heard that from Baylor, and Baylor said in his statement that he never told anyone that he wanted to retire.

Okay, well, that's not stellar behavior, and Baylor's probably going to have a case, but really, that just sounds more like an employer having difficulty in managing employees. That's not good, but it's not outright horrible. It looks like there's nothing in this round of revelations which would really make Sterling look terrib ... oh. Yeah.  There's this. 

"While ignoring my suggestions and isolating me from decisions customarily reserved for general managers, the Clippers attempted to place the blame for the team’s failures on me," Baylor said in the declaration. "During this same period, players Sam Cassell, Elton Brand and Corey Maggette complained to me that DONALD STERLING would bring women into the locker room after games, while the players were showering, and make comments such as, 'Look at those beautiful black bodies.' I brought this to Sterling’s attention, but he continued to bring women into the locker room."

Look, most situations between people are more complicated than they seem. and they often involve a great degree of dissonance between one party and the other.  It's a more difficult world than most people make it out to be. But if these, and all the other accusations are true, Donald Sterling is an abomination to a not-at-all exceedingly honorable league of NBA owners. He is a blemish on the NBA, and a detriment to the league. And the fact that he's allowed to continue pursuing his agenda in such a profitable market as Los Angeles represents a failure by his fellow owners, the league, and David Stern to set a standard of conduct and hold its representatives to it. The NBA wouldn't tolerate such behavior in its offices, yet here is an owner, a voice among the group that is determining the future of this sport in the next year, who lacks not only a drive to win, not only an objective of running an operation well, but who flaunts racism in a predominantly African-American sport.  I seem to ask this every six months, but I will ask again. 

What's it going to take for the NBA to purge itself of the disease that is Donald Sterling?
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