Masai Ujiri Slams 'Malicious' Lawsuit by Sheriff's Deputy Alan Strickland

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2020

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 10: President Masai Ujiri of the Toronto Raptors looks on during the game between the Chicago Bulls and the Charlotte Hornets during the 2019 Summer League at the Cox Pavilion on July 10, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri brushed aside the lawsuit filed against him by California sheriff's deputy Alan Strickland in connection to their encounter following the Raptors' NBA Finals victory. 

The Canadian Press (via The Globe and Mail) shared Ujiri's comments on the matter:

"It's malicious in a way. To me it's incredible that things play out like that. I think something incredible was taken away from me and I will never forget it. It is one of the things that drives me to win another championship because I want to be able to celebrate a championship the right way. This thing will be settled. The truth will come out. The truth will come out of this."

Ujiri walked onto the court at Oracle Arena to join in the celebration after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 and was stopped by Strickland. Authorities said Ujiri didn't have the proper credentials to be on the court.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office alleged Ujiri "pushed the deputy striking him in the face" and wanted to pursue misdemeanor battery charges against the Raptors executive.

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The district attorney's office confirmed in October it wasn't going to formally charge Ujiri after conducting a brief investigation and interviewing eyewitnesses.

Strickland formally filed suit against Ujiri this month, claiming he "suffered, and will continue to suffer, physical, mental, emotional, and economic injuries, including, but not limited to, lost wages, lost opportunity for financial gain, future earning capacity, and past and future medical care and expenses," per USA Today's Lorenzo Reyes.

The Toronto Raptors issued a statement Tuesday (via TMZ Sports) calling the lawsuit "baseless and entirely without merit."