Owners In The News: Elgin Baylor Testifies In Lawsuit Against Clippers
In L.A., Eric Sondheimer reports former Clippers VP/Basketball Operations ELGIN BAYLOR testified yesterday in his wrongful termination suit against the team, saying that he "felt 'insulted and humiliated' after receiving a letter in August 2008 that the team wanted him to become a consultant and retire after 22 years as an executive in the organization." Baylor, 76, is suing the Clippers, Owner DONALD STERLING and President ANDY ROESER for "wrongful termination based on age discrimination." Baylor testified that Sterling and Roeser "would constantly bring up his age in private conversations and ask, 'How much longer are you going to do this?'" (L.A. TIMES, 3/22).
ALL ABOUT WINNING: Capitals and Wizards Owner TED LEONSIS recently sat down with the WASHINGTON TIMES to discuss the state of his teams. Leonsis: "I've said the hardest accomplishment in (sports) is winning a championship. You have 29 competitors. In business you usually have a couple that are competing with you, and you have all these factors that you don't have in (sports). Never once at AOL did my HR director come in and say, 'You'd better sit down, close the door, the HTML coder blew his knee out and he can't go. He's gonna miss the next month. We won't be able to ship the product'" (WASHINGTONTIMES.com, 3/21).
PLAYING THROUGH PAIN: In N.Y., Mehta & Myers note Jets Owner WOODY JOHNSON "showed up at the annual NFL league meetings in New Orleans Monday less than two weeks after being clipped by a car while riding a bike in South Florida." Sources said that Johnson, "who arrived in New Orleans on crutches and with his left ankle in a boot, had surgery on March 11." Johnson: "I just got nicked by a car. I wasn't wearing a helmet and all that stuff. You are supposed to do all that stuff. I didn't hit my head or anything. I broke my ankle" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/22). Doctors "advised him not to fly for the time being," but Johnson said that he "felt these meetings ... were too important to miss" (N.Y. POST, 3/22).
HONORABLE MENTION: ESPN.com's Tim Graham reported Bills Owner RALPH WILSON, Titans Owner BUD ADAMS, Saints Owner TOM BENSON, Lions Owner WILLIAM CLAY FORD SR. and Chargers Owner ALEX SPANOS were honored last night with American Spirit Awards from the National World War II Museum in New Orleans (ESPN.com, 3/21).