Sheriffs admit Raptors exec Masai Ujiri showed ID before Oracle Arena incident


Sheriffs admit Raptors exec Masai Ujiri showed ID before Oracle Arena incident

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office admitted that Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri showed his NBA identification before an alleged altercation with a sheriff's deputy last week at Oracle Arena.

The sheriff's office told The Globe and Mail on Wednesday that Ujiri informed the deputy he was the Raptors' president and then presented the ID, but he did not have the necessary credentials to get onto the court after his team beat the Warriors to clinch its first championship in Game 6 of the NBA Finals last Thursday.

Officials allege that Ujiri pushed and struck the deputy in the face after he refused to let the executive on the court, and an attorney hired to represent the deputy told multiple outlets earlier this week that his client has a concussion and a "serious jaw injury."

Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office, told The Globe that security footage from Oracle Arena showed Ujiri hitting the deputy with "two fists" and that one struck the officer "underneath the jaw on the left side of his face." Three eyewitnesses, whom The Globe said "were sitting within 10 feet of the altercation," disputed that account.

"From what I saw it was just shoving," Lucas Abrenica, 20, said. "There were no punches thrown or anything like that."

Ben Baller, 46, told The Globe that Ujiri identified himself with a credential, which Kelly said was not the right one to get the executive on the court. Baller told the paper that "others in the area started shouting" Ujiri's position, but the deputy pushed him and "shook his head 'no.' "

Greg Wiener, 61, said Ujiri "brushed" away the deputy's arm after he blocked his path to the court, "then the deputy got a little bit more aggressive," pushing Ujiri first.  

“That’s when Mr. Ujiri pushed the deputy hard,” Wiener said.

Kelly told The Globe that the deputy pushed Ujiri first, but the executive pushed with greater force. Two of the witnesses who spoke to The Globe said the deputy appeared to be "uninjured," but Kelly claimed the officer was diagnosed with a concussion after going to a hospital later that night.

KPIX-TV reported Monday that Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern "personally reviewed" the deputy's bodycam footage, as well as that of Oracle's security cameras. He told the outlet that he will recommend the district attorney charge Ujiri with misdemeanor battery of an officer. 

The Raptors did not comment on The Globe's story but said in a statement to NBC Sports Washington last week that the encounter "is being looked at, and we are cooperating with authorities. We look forward to resolving the situation."

Nets players free of coronavirus symptoms, but Kevin Durant might be delayed

Nets players free of coronavirus symptoms, but Kevin Durant might be delayed

Good news. The four Brooklyn Nets players who had tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) are now free from symptoms.

Nets general manager Sean Marks announced Wednesday during a conference call with reporters that all members of Brooklyn's traveling party had completed a two-week quarantine. Even so, they will continue to abide by social-distancing guidelines.

"As it pertains to the team," Marks said (via ESPN's Malika Andrews), "I sense -- like all of us, like the rest of New York and really the rest of the globe -- we're trying to deal with this as best we can."

The Nets were scheduled to face the Warriors at Chase Center in front of no fans on March 12, but the NBA indefinitely suspended the season the previous night after two Utah Jazz players became the first in the NBA to test positive for the coronavirus. Upon returning to Brooklyn from San Francisco, the Nets paid a private company to test the team for COVID-19, which revealed that four players had tested positive.

Of those four players, three were asymptomatic. According to Marks, however, the lone player exhibiting symptoms has since recovered.

Former Warrior Kevin Durant admitted he was one of the four Nets to test positive for the coronavirus. He hadn't played all season while recovering from a torn Achilles, and was already ruled out for the duration of the 2019-20 campaign. While Durant might have some extra time on his hands these days, it's possible that the season being indefinitely paused could delay his return to game action.

The same goes for Brooklyn point guard Kyrie Irving, who underwent shoulder surgery on March 3. Though they are able to continue their respective rehabilitations, they obviously don't have access to the practice facility, which could slow the process.

"I couldn't give an answer on when they'll play this season," Marks said. "I don't think it's fair to those athletes nor the performance team to put a timeline on it. I think everyone is dealing with bigger, far more pressing things."

[RELATED: Steph had to assemble hoop Ayesha ordered in quarantine]

Marks insisted he would have a better idea of each player's respective timeline in another three weeks to a month, when he hopes to have more clarification about the NBA's plans to resume the season.

Of course, there's no guarantee that will happen, either.

Steph Curry explains how he's above average in 'Tour de Warriors' race

Steph Curry explains how he's above average in 'Tour de Warriors' race

Warriors players can't go to Chase Center to work on their game while the NBA season is indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

They can't use the team facilities to ride the bike, or hop on the treadmill or use the elliptical.

And not everybody has exercise equipment at home.

But those who do have been able to work out together ...

... virtually.

Ben Cohen of The Wall Street Journal has the details:

(Steph Curry) does have a Peloton bike at home. As it turns out, he’s not the only one: The Warriors have been going for a group ride in the morning.

The invitation goes out on a Slack group -- Curry admits to skipping one class because he didn’t see the message -- and then a maniacally competitive bicyclist named Draymond Green attempts to destroy everyone around him, according to a person familiar with the rides.

“In the Tour de Warriors,” Curry said, “I’m above average, but I’m not on the podium yet. I have to figure out how to get there. There’s always something to shoot for.”

It's not a surprise to hear that Draymond is competitive during these sessions, as he has been a regular at SoulCycle for quite some time.

[RELATED: Steph had to assemble hoop Ayesha ordered in quarantine]

“You walk out feeling sweaty, feeling good like you got a workout in, but it doesn’t put much strain on the body," the three-time NBA champion told NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke about one year ago. "Sometimes it’s good to get away from the game of basketball or the typical weight room.

“You’re working out with a different group of people, you’re all on rhythm, trying to stay on the beat with each other. When you add music to a workout, it’s fun. I do it a lot with my fiancée, and we have a good time. We sit next to each other. She’s really good at it.”

As for Steph -- knowing how competitive he is, don't be surprised if we learn that he wins the "Tour de Warriors" on the regular very soon.

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