*Along with the euphoria that came with the Toronto Raptors winning their first NBA title by defeating the Golden State Warriors Thusday night in Oakland, comes news that the the team’s GM of basketball operations, Masai Ujiri, caught a legal case after the game.
Simply put, Ujiri, may face charges after allegedly pushing and hitting a sheriff’s deputy in the face moments after his team won game 6 to seal the championship.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s office confirmed Friday morning that they are pursuing a misdemeanor charge against Ujiri for simple battery of a police officer.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s office ain’t playing, either. Friday morning they confirmed their intent to file charges against Ujiri, 48, for simple battery of a police officer.
So what exactly happened? We don’t a comment about that from Ujiri or the Raptors, but a Sheriff’s spokerperson says that Ujiri “pushed” and “struck” the deputy “in the face” while making his way onto the court after the game ended late Thursday evening at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
“We can confirm our deputy was pushed and struck by a Raptors executive after he asked him for his credentials to go on the court at the end of the game,” the spokesperson said.
The altercation allegedly began after the deputy denied Ujiri access to the floor because he “did not have proper credentials.”
#BREAKING: Sheriff’s deputy reportedly pushed and struck in the face by a man believed to be a Toronto Raptors executive after Game 6 of the #NBAFinals at Oracle Arena, @ACSOSheriffs says. https://t.co/fobdK9iWEq pic.twitter.com/a4X0IysY5Z
— Kristofer Noceda (@krisnoceda) June 14, 2019
In July of last year, Masai Ujiri traded Kyle Lowry’s best friend.
In June 2019, Kyle Lowry made sure Toronto’s President of Basketball of Operations came out to celebrate his team’s championship. pic.twitter.com/3URZ3F20rQ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 14, 2019
Check out the video footage above from NBC Bay Area. It appears to show the Raptors’ executive going at it verbally with a law-enforcement officer as several men separated and restrained both Ujiri and the sheriff’s deputy. Eventually, Ujiri makes his way to the floor where he was hugged by Raptors star point guard Kyle Lowry.
Ujiri appears to be holding a credential in his right hand in the video. However, per NBA rules, only people with designated gold armbands were allowed on the court after the Game 6 game. It is not immediately unclear if Ujiri was wearing an armband or had one in his possession.
“We are working with the Oakland Police Department to file a report and contact witnesses and review video,” the Sheriff’s Dept. spokesperson said, adding that Ujiri was not arrested.
The dust up between the officer and Ujiri wasn’t the only friction that went down at Oracle Arena during the Finals between Golden State and Toronto. Remeber that incident on June 5 in which Mark Stevens, an owner of the Warriors, appeared to shove Lowry during Game 3, after the player fell into the seats during a dramatic play. Stevens was ultimately banned from attending any NBA game for a year and was fined $500,000.