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Mention of David Stern is an error in Elgin Baylor's lawsuit

Baylor's attorney says complaint will be amended.

February 14, 2009|Lisa Dillman

One of the more provocative allegations in the lawsuit filed by former Clippers executive and NBA Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor against the Clippers, the NBA and owner Donald Sterling and team president Andy Roeser dealt with a comment allegedly made by Sterling about his former player Danny Manning.

The lawsuit filed earlier this week in Los Angeles Superior Court alleged that Sterling had a "pervasive and ongoing racist attitude as expressed to then NBA player Danny Manning during contract negotiations." The suit added, "with David Stern present," Sterling allegedly said, "I'm offering a lot of money for a poor Black kid."

There was one big problem. Stern, the NBA's commissioner, was not at the meeting.

Carl Douglas, one of Baylor's attorneys, acknowledged that Friday, and said that the mention of Stern being at the meeting would be deleted in an amended complaint.

Douglas called it a typographical error. He expected the amended complaint to be filed Friday.

"What we're doing is the legal equivalent of running a retraction," Douglas said.

Did this mistake undermine other claims in the lawsuit?

"No, it doesn't," he said.

A spokesperson for the NBA said it does not comment on pending litigation, but the Stern reference in the Baylor lawsuit did not go without notice by the league. It is also expected that Stern will be asked about the lawsuit during NBA All-Star activities this weekend in Phoenix.

Clippers general counsel Robert H. Platt declined to comment on this latest development.

Meanwhile, there's Manning. The former Clipper is now an assistant basketball coach with Kansas.

He responded on Friday to The Times' request for a comment on the Baylor suit through the sports information department at Kansas. The university sent this e-mail:

"After forwarding your e-mail, Danny Manning's comment was, 'To Donald Sterling's alleged comment, I knew I wasn't wealthy, but I didn't think I was poor either.' "

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lisa.dillman@latimes.com

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