Though it’s early in the new season, the Milwaukee Bucks are off to a surprisingly good start, sitting atop the NBA’s Central Division. The Cleveland Cavaliers, one of the Bucks’ fiercest rivals, occupies the division cellar, however.
The Cavs’ woes mounted a few days ago when former assistant coach Jim Boylan, 62, filed an age discrimination lawsuit against the organization, claiming that the team did not pick up the option in his employment contract because it wanted someone younger in that role.
In the filed complaint, Boylan cites a voicemail he received from then-head coach Tyronn Lue in which the coach passed on comments from General Manager Koby Altman.
“He wants to go younger in that position and, you know, find somebody who’s a grinder and younger in that position,” Lue is quoted as saying. The former Cavs’ coach said later in the message that team owner Dan Gilbert agreed with Altman’s assessment.
Boylan also states in his lawsuit that Altman said in a later conversation that he and Gilbert both wanted someone younger in the associate coach’s position and that their decision was not based on Boylan’s job performance.
Boylan also points out in his suit that after he was let go, the Cavs retained and promoted younger coaches.
A law professor contacted by a Cleveland news outlet said the voicemail could be a “smoking gun,” providing direct evidence by an organizational authority figure that management had indeed made decisions based on age and not performance.
Lue was fired a few days ago after the Cavs lurched to a last-place start to the season.
If your Milwaukee employer has discriminated against you on the basis of age, contact an attorney who understands both federal and Wisconsin protections against workplace age discrimination.