Former assistant coach Jim Boylan sues Cleveland Cavaliers for age discrimination

A former Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach is suing the team for age discrimination.

Jim Boylan, who spent the past five seasons with the Cavaliers before the team declined to renew his contract this summer, filed the civil lawsuit in Cuyahoga County (Ohio) on Thursday, according to online court records. He is seeking damages in excess of $25,000 and names the Cavaliers, owner Dan Gilbert and general manager Koby Altman as defendants.

According to a copy of the complaint obtained by USA TODAY Sports on Friday, the 63-year-old Boylan received a voicemail from Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue on June 17 informing him that Altman was declining to pick up the team option in his contract, which was otherwise set to expire July 1.

Lue said in the voicemail message that the team had determined Boylan's option was "way too much money" and "(Altman) wants to go younger in that position and, you know, find somebody who’s grinder and younger in that position," according to the lawsuit. Boylan also claims in the suit that he later met with Altman, who confirmed that he and Gilbert were looking for a "younger" coach in Boylan's role.

Cavaliers spokesperson Tad Carper declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Boylan previously worked as an assistant coach for five other NBA franchises, including stints as the interim head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks. 

The Cavaliers fired Lue on Sunday after the team stumbled to an 0-6 start. Cleveland's "acting coach," Larry Drew, turned 60 in April, while the two assistant coaches listed on its roster — James Posey and Mike Longabardi — are 41 and 45, respectively.


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Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.

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