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Spree's NBA Lawsuit Dismissed

A federal judge dismissed Latrell Sprewell's lawsuit today against the NBA, challenging his 68-game suspension for choking his coach, and said it was so worthless that Sprewell must pay the league's court costs.

Sprewell, whose original one-year suspension was cut to the remaining 68 games of the 1997-98 season by an arbitrator, claimed in his $30 million suit that the punishment still exceeded the arbitrator's authority and that he was a victim of racial discrimination.

He noted that a white player, Tom Chambers, wasn't suspended for punching a Phoenix Suns assistant coach a few weeks before Sprewell attacked Golden State Warriors coach P.J. Carlesimo.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker first dismissed the suit last July, saying its factual claims were too vague to prove any legal violations. He gave Sprewell one more chance to file an amended suit with more specific claims, but said the player should seriously consider dropping the case.

Sprewell refiled the suit, but Walker said the new version was virtually the same as the old version, and neither one had any legal merit.

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