Witness claims Raptors exec Masai Ujiri didn't strike sheriff's deputy


Witness claims Raptors exec Masai Ujiri didn't strike sheriff's deputy

A Warriors season-ticket holder claimed to see Thursday night's encounter between Masai Ujiri and a sheriff's deputy at Oracle Arena, and said the Raptors president of basketball operations did not strike the deputy as the sheriff's office claimed.

Greg Wiener, 61, told The Associated Press on Friday that he stood next to the deputy during the waning moments of the Raptors' 114-110 win over the Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday. Wiener told The AP that the deputy first "put his hand on Ujiri's chest and pushed him," and that "Ujiri shoved him back before bystanders intervened."

“The thing about the cops saying the policeman asked for his credentials, that didn’t happen," Wiener said. "There was no conversation at all. This part about striking him in the face, yeah that didn’t happen.”

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office told NBC Bay Area on Thursday that it was conducting an investigation along with the Oakland Police Department into 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 Oracle Arena court. Sgt. Ray Kelly later identified the executive as Ujiri to NBC Sports Washington on Friday morning, telling the outlet that a deputy blocked Ujiri from reaching the court because he didn't display the proper credentials.

NBC Bay Area obtained video showing a man standing in between Ujiri and the deputies with his arms outstretched. Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry guided Ujiri through the crowd and on to the court to celebrate with the team.

Kelly said the deputies let Ujiri go once they realized who he was, but they are gathering evidence to submit to the district attorney. Deputies called the incident misdemeanor battery on an officer, according to NBC Bay Area. Ujiri has not yet been charged.

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

Ujiri, 48, has been the Raptors president since 2013. The Washington Wizards are preparing to offer Ujiri the top job in their front office, and NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig reported the offer could be worth $10 million annually and include an ownership stake in the team.

Steph Curry relives time in 2014 when he made 3-pointer in Kobe's face


Steph Curry relives time in 2014 when he made 3-pointer in Kobe's face

DubNation, let's think back to a time before Steph Curry was an MVP and before the Warriors had won three NBA titles in five seasons.

Think back to Oct. 12, 2014.

The Warriors were playing the Los Angeles Lakers in a preseason game at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif.

Curry hadn't fully established himself as an all-time great. Kobe Bryant was in the twilight of his career having returned from a torn Achilles tendon.

In the third quarter, with the Warriors holding a commanding league in the exhibition game, Bryant picked Curry up full-court two possessions in a row in an attempt to bother the undersized point guard.

The second time it happened, Curry created space and nailed a step-back 3-pointer over Bryant.

In a recent interview with House of Highlight's founder Omar Raja, Curry described his mindset on that play.

"This is him, I think the year after his Achilles [tear] and he's trying to get his competitive fire back because he missed so much time. He started to pick me up full court two possessions in a row, so this is the second possession. So I took the challenge obviously. They let him foul and they didn't call that so I kinda had to work with that.

"But I came down the court and he was trying to steal it, trying to be physical. I got him with a little half step to get a little bit of space and then just pulled it from deep and obviously it went in and then his smile afterward, the little ass tap.

"I tried not to have a reaction there because I was in the moment. But afterward, I was like 'Damn, that's pretty cool' because Kobe doesn't show that type of emotion."

[RELATED: How playing with KD helped Steph]

Little did Bryant, the Lakers and the rest of the NBA know what was about to happen. The Warriors went on to win 67 games that season and reached the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years. Curry would be named NBA MVP and lead the Warriors past the Cleveland Cavaliers to win his first NBA title.

Why Steph Curry believes playing with Kevin Durant 'cemented' him

Why Steph Curry believes playing with Kevin Durant 'cemented' him

Like a comet, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant's time together burned bright and fast.

The two all-time greats led the Warriors to three straight NBA Finals appearances after Durant arrived in the Bay in 2016. They won two titles and likely would have won a third had the Warriors not been hit by a glut of injuries, including the ruptured Achilles Durant suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. 

Then, it was over.

Durant elected to sign with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency, and Curry now is tasked with shouldering a heavy load entering next season when the two-time NBA MVP will be asked to do it all to keep the Warriors afloat in the revamped Western Conference.

Despite their relatively short time as running mates, Curry is appreciative of what playing with Durant did for him, especially on a personal level. 

“It cemented me,” Curry told The Athletic's Marcus Thompson at the American Century Golf Championship celebrity tournament. “Cemented my personality, how I see the world and what makes me go amidst the heights of where we were at for the last three years. Not a lot of people experience what we experienced in terms of criticism, attention, the intensity of basketball, the level we were playing at. It further cemented the foundation of kind of who I am. I see there are a lot of different ways to do it, and you respect everybody’s different approach and mindset and angle and what makes them go, what motivates them. But I’m really comfortable with mine.”

By all accounts, Curry did everything he could to make Durant feel like a co-star during his time in the Bay Area. Whether or not Durant ever felt accepted, only he can answer that.

[RELATED: Steph explains why he flew to New York to meet KD]

The Steph-KD Warriors will go down as one of, if not the greatest collection of talent in NBA history. They set records, won titles and did it with a flare and swagger reserved only for those at the peak of their powers.

Durant now will rehab with an eye toward returning to the court for the 2020-21 season, while Curry and the Warriors will be out to prove their championship days didn't leave with Durant.