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Lakers Legend Claims Clippers Steered by Racist

2/12/2009 3:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Elgin BaylorFormer legendary L.A. Laker Elgin Baylor has just filed a lawsuit against the L.A. Clippers and the NBA, claiming he's the victim of rampant racial discrimination.

In the lawsuit, filed today in L.A. County Superior Court, Baylor -- who was unceremoniously dismissed as VP and General Manager last October -- claims the team has "egregious salary disparities" based on race. Baylor claims he was told to "induce African American players to join the Clippers, despite the Clippers' reputation of being unwilling to fairly treat and compensate African American players." Baylor says the owner, Donald Sterling, has a "pervasive and ongoing racist attitude."

Baylor cites the case of NBA player Danny Manning, where Sterling allegedly said, "I'm offering a lot of money for a poor Black kid." The suit claims Sterling repeatedly referred to the team as "poor Black kids" and "he wanted a White coach directing the Clippers." Sterling is being sued as well.

Baylor says he personally got stiffed, only being paid $350,000 a year since 2003, when a "Caucasian head coach was given a 4 year, 22 million dollar contract."

Here's the best part. The suit says, "At all relevant times mentioned here, Mr. Baylor was an African American male over the age of 40."

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