New York Knicks-Toronto Raptors controversy timeline: people involved and other details investigated

The New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors, who belong to the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference, will play each other four times. Their first two matches will be home-and-away series, starting on December 1. The matches scheduled this season will have more stories than usual. When the two teams collide on the basketball court, a fierce battle on the court between the two teams may escalate.

In August of that year, the Knicks went to the United States District Court in Manhattan to file a complaint against the Raptors. A New York legal team is seeking $10 million in damages for allegedly stealing thousands of confidential files. The lawsuit also requests that NBA commissioner Adam Silver be prevented from serving as an arbitrator in the dispute.

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Just before the start of the 2023/24 season, the Raptors asked the court to dismiss the complaint. They also ask Silver to preside over this matter. In the lawsuit, Toronto added that New York’s allegations were “baseless” and a “public relations stunt.”

What started the controversial feud between the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors?

On November 25, 2020, the New York Knicks hired Ikechukwu Azotama as assistant video coordinator. He was later promoted to director of video and analytics and then to assistant player development. During his tenure, the Knicks accuse him of illegally releasing “3,358 video files.”

The Toronto Raptors allegedly accessed the stolen files more than 2,000 times. The files were located in a Google email used by Azotam.

View rate reports, previous season’s campaign prep book, scouting video files, opposition research and more. The Knicks accused the Raptors of “directing Azotam’s actions and/or knowingly benefiting from Azotam’s unlawful actions.”

Read also: Who is Ike Azotam? More about the person involved in the Knicks-Raptors dispute

The NBA will let the court decide whether commissioner Adam Silver will be the arbitrator

Among the allegations made by the New York Knicks against the Toronto Raptors is Adam Silver. The Knicks are vehemently opposed to having the NBA commissioner serve as an arbitrator in their complaints. Governor Silver and Raptors Larry Tanenbaum are close friends.

The Knicks’ lawsuit states that “Tanenbaum is Silver’s boss and exercises control over and significant influence over Silver’s continued employment and compensation.” New York’s complaint continued:

“ Silver himself described Tanenbaum as “not only my boss as chairman of the board, but he is a role model in my life.” If Silver were to preside over an immediate dispute, he would arbitrate the matter on behalf of his boss and ally.

The NBA constitution also prohibits Adam Silver from imposing a fine of more than $10 million, which the New York Knicks will seek. Moreover, the Knicks said the league’s policy does not cover intellectual property theft or protection.

Rich Buchanan, the NBA’s chief legal officer, responded to the Knicks and Toronto Raptors via email. He told them that the court would decide who would be the arbitrator in the dispute.

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