The Toronto Raptors won the final NBA game at Oracle Arena, beating the Warriors to clinch the 2019 Finals, the franchise’s first since joining the league in 1995.
On his way down to the court to celebrate with his team, Raptors team president Masai Ujiri reportedly was involved in an altercation with arena security after not showing proper credentials.
On Friday, Alan Strickland -- the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department officer involved in the incident with Ujiri -- filed a federal lawsuit in California against Ujiri, along with the Raptors organization, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and the NBA.
Strickland indicates in the affidavit that he “suffered injury to his head, body, health, strength, nervous system, and person, all of which have caused and continue to cause Plaintiff great mental, emotional, psychological, physical, and nervous pain and suffering.”
He says in the lawsuit that he suffered a “permanent disability” as a result of the altercation, alleging that Ujiri hit him “in the face and chest with both fists.”
Strickland is seeking general damages in excess of $75,000, as well as punitive damages and medical and legal costs associated with the incident and subsequent litigation.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office announced in October that no charges would be filed against Ujiri for the incident, which occurred on June 13, 2019.
Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri will not face criminal charges over an alleged altercation with an Alameda County sheriff's deputy during the NBA Finals, the District Attorney's office told NBC Bay Area in a statement Tuesday.
The sheriff's office alleged that Ujiri struck and pushed a deputy as the Raptors executive tried to gain access to the Oracle Arena floor following Game 6 of the NBA Finals on June 13. The district attorney's office received incident reports from the Alameda County Sheriff and Oakland Police Department in late July, conducting "additional investigation and witness interviews" until Sept. 1, a spokesperson from the district attorney's office said in a statement.
Ujiri, his attorneys and Assistant District Attorney Terry Wiley met Monday, focusing "on matters that we believe merited constructive, structured mediation and conflict resolution and were better handled in a setting outside of the courtroom."
In June, the sheriff's office admitted Ujiri showed his NBA identification before trying to get on the Oracle Arena floor following the Raptors' Finals win but told The Globe and Mail in June that Ujiri didn't have necessary credentials to get on the court. The sheriff's office shared still images with The Globe that showed there was an altercation, though they did not allow the paper to publish the images. Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern told KPIX-TV in June that he would recommend Ujiri face a charge of misdemeanor battery of an officer.
In Tuesday's statement, a district attorney's office spokesperson said "[there] will be no further action taken" against Ujiri.
Steph Curry didn't witness the incident between Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri and a sheriff's deputy in the moments after Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Curry was busy trying to process how his Golden State Warriors had just lost the NBA title to Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Curry told the newspaper that at the time, he was unaware of the incident, but that he saw a visibly shaken Ujiri after the Raptors' celebration.
“You know what’s crazy? I saw him after,” Curry told The Times. “I didn’t know anything about this situation. But looking back, I saw his face and I could tell something had happened.”
Over the last few weeks, varying sides of the story have come out. The Alameda Country Sheriff's Office told NBC Sports Washington that Ujiri struck and pushed the deputy as he tried to gain access to the Oracle Arena floor to celebrate the Raptors' championship win.
Later, an eyewitness told the Associated Press that Ujiri never struck the deputy. Then, this week, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office showed images to The Globe and Mail newspaper depicting an altercation between Ujiri and the deputy.
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Curry, surprisingly, brought race into the equation.
“If he didn’t do anything wrong, obviously, you’d hope that it was handled in a better fashion,” Curry told The Times. “Especially for a guy that was going out and trying to celebrate with his team that had done something historical. So I don’t know if that was a white G.M. or whatever, if that’s handled differently. You can always play the what-if game.”