Warriors

Officials: Raptors exec Masai Ujiri struck, pushed deputy at Oracle Arena

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Officials: Raptors exec Masai Ujiri struck, pushed deputy at Oracle Arena

Raptors president of operations Masai Ujiri allegedly struck and pushed a sheriff's deputy at Oracle Arena as he tried to gain access to the court to celebrate his team’s first NBA championship, Sgt. Ray Kelly with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office confirmed to NBC Sports Washington on Friday morning.

The sheriff’s office told NBC Bay Area on Thursday night that it, along with the Oakland Police Department, is investigating an incident in which "a man believed to be a Toronto Raptors executive" pushed and struck a sheriff's deputy in the face on the court at Oracle after Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

Kelly declined to identify the executive, who was not arrested, when asked by The San Francisco Chronicle. However, he did confirm to NBC Sports Washington that it was Ujiri.

The sheriff's office considers the case to be misdemeanor battery on an officer.

Kelly told NBC Sports Washington that the sheriff's deputy blocked Ujiri from the court because the Raptors executive did not display the appropriate credentials. Kelly said the sheriff's deputy was following strict security protocol and didn't recognize Ujiri.

“The incident is being looked at, and we are cooperating with authorities. We look forward to resolving the situation," a Raptors spokesperson said to NBC Sports Washington.

A video of the incident from NBC Bay Area shows a man standing in between a Raptors executive and deputies, with his arms outstretched. Eventually, the executive is guided through the crowd to the court by Kyle Lowry and proceeds to celebrate with the team.

NBC Sports Bay Area's requests to sheriff's officials and the Raptors for comment weren't returned.

Kelly said once the sheriff's deputies realized who Ujiri was, they opted to let him go celebrate, but they are gathering evidence to submit a complaint to the district attorney over the incident.

NBC Bay Area broke news of the incident in the early morning hours after the Raptors beat the Warriors for the title.

Ujiri could be leaving the Raptors shortly after steering them to the championship. NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig reported that the Wizards are preparing to offer Ujiri the top job in their front office. That offer could include everything from an ownership stake in Monumental, or an eight-figure salary.

NBA Draft 2020: Deni Avdija celebrated Warriors' 2015 title in old photo

NBA Draft 2020: Deni Avdija celebrated Warriors' 2015 title in old photo

If the Warriors select 19-year-old Deni Avdija in the early stages of the 2020 NBA Draft, they'll be picking a player who appears to have been a fan of the franchise for at least a quarter of his life.

The Israeli-Serbian forward has been lighting up the Israeli Basketball Premier League for Maccabi Tel Aviv, averaging 18.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. ESPN's NBA draft guru Mike Schmitz describes Avdija as an "aggressive offensive player who is in attack mode every time he steps onto the floor," who, "loves shooting pull-up 3-pointers in transition."

Hmmm. Sound familiar?

That would seem to mirror the way the Warriors played throughout their (still ongoing?) dynastic run. Given a photo posted to Avdija's Instagram in September of 2016, it would appear he has been a fan of Golden State for some time.

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מה זה בית ספר #🇪🇸

A post shared by Deni Avdija (@deniavdia8) on

That's the Warriors 2015 NBA Champions hat that Avdija is wearing while apparently sailing off the coast of Spain. A good-looking hat for an even better view.

[RELATED: Watch potential Dubs draft target Avdija dominate in Israel]

Just throwing this out there, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess he's a pretty big fan of Steph Curry, too.

Maybe, just maybe, they'll be teammates within a few months, and Avdija will have more Warriors apparel than he'll know what to do with.

Shaq gives outrageous breakdown of potential Lakers-Warriors matchup

Shaq gives outrageous breakdown of potential Lakers-Warriors matchup

Shaquille O'Neal won't back down from this debate.

The Hall of Fame center is 100 percent convinced his three-peat Los Angeles Lakers were better than the Steph Curry and Kevin Durant-led Warriors.

Shaq has made it clear over the last two years that he believes the 1999 through 2002 championship Lakers would have easily beaten the 2016 through 2019 Warriors in a hypothetical matchup.

The Diesel even claimed that the Warriors wouldn't have been a contender during the Lakers' dominant run.

But in an interview with Maxim Magazine published Tuesday, Shaq said the Lakers starters would have won every 1-on-1 matchup with the Warriors.

Brace yourselves, Warriors fans.

"I have a hard time believing that the greatest coach of all time (Phil Jackson), plus me and Kobe [Bryant], wouldn’t match up quite nicely against Steve Kerr and his gang," Shaq said. "Kobe takes Steph and dominates him. [Derek] Fisher takes Klay and manhandles him. [Rick] Fox takes Draymond and makes him foul out in the first half. Horace [Grant] would do his thing with K.D. But let’s be real, K.D., is a beast, and you can only do so much with him. And then I’d remind [Zaza] Pachulia why I am in the Hall of Fame and he is not."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Where do we even begin?

Yes, Kobe was an elite defender, but Curry is a generational talent. He would not have been dominated by Bryant. Steph against a prime Kobe would have been must-see TV, but it wouldn't have been as one-sided as Shaq believes.

If Shaq thinks Klay would be manhandled by anyone, let alone Fisher, he hasn't watched the Warriors shooting guard enough. Thompson has five inches on Fisher and would just shoot right over him.

If Fox tried to bully Draymond, the Warriors forward would pull a Doug Christie and sock him in the jaw. Draymond's motor would give him the edge in that matchup.

Durant would get his against Grant or any other defender the Lakers threw at him. You know who he is. He's Kevin Durant.

The only matchup the Lakers win hands down is Shaq vs. Zaza. Sorry, Zaza.

Shaq's Lakers were able to do something the Warriors weren't able to do: Three-peat. But Golden State very likely would have accomplished the feat if Durant and Thompson had been healthy for the entirety of the 2019 NBA Finals.

[RELATED: Why Curry, Dubs would dominate Lakers]

Yes, Shaq has every right to defend his Lakers teams, but to say they would completely dominate those Warriors teams is a bit far-fetched. Before Durant arrived, the Warriors won 73 games. After he signed, they steamrolled the league on their way to back-to-back NBA titles, and could have three-peated.

This debate will never be settled, but one thing is for sure. Shaq won't let it go.