It’s the NBA offseason but the Raptors and Knicks are still doing battle. This time it’s off the court.
The Knicks are alleging that their former employee Ikechukwu Azotam “illegally took thousands of proprietary files with him to his new position” with the Raptors:
In lawsuit filed today and obtained by SNY, Knicks allege that a former employee “illegally took thousands of proprietary files with him to his new position” with the Raptors. Suit alleges that material included play frequency reports, a prep book for ‘22-‘23 & video scouting.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) August 21, 2023
The Raptors hired Ikechukwu Azotam earlier in the offseason.
According to Ian Begley, the Knicks suit alleges that Azotam ‘illegally procured’ and disclosed the proprietary information and shared it with members of the Raptors organization, including new head coach Darko Rajakovic and player development coach Noah Lewis.
According to a source, the Knicks reached out to the Raptors and NBA about the issue before filing the lawsuit.
The suit alleges that Azotam’s signed an agreement as a Knicks employee with a ‘confidentiality clause requiring him to maintain the secrecy of all confidential or proprietary Knicks information.
The suit also alleges that Toronto defendants ‘directed Azotam to misuse his access to the Knicks’ subscription to Synergy Sports to create and then transfer to the Raptors Defendants over 3,000 files consisting of film information and data,’ per Begley.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment released a statement following the allegations on Monday, saying it intends to conduct an internal investigation and fully cooperate.
MLSE “strongly denies” any involvement in the alleged matter:
Raptors’ statement on the reported Knicks’ lawsuit, which alleges that a former NYK employee illegally took proprietary files with him to his new position in Toronto: pic.twitter.com/Pwqg2XPRV6
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) August 21, 2023
The Raptors take on the Knicks on Dec. 1 and that matchup just became a lot more interesting.
The Raptors offseason rollercoaster
The Raptors can’t seem to catch a break. They keep making news for all the wrong reasons.
They lost All-Star guard Fred VanVleet for nothing in free agency to the Houston Rockets.
Pascal Siakam has been in a whirlwind of trade rumours. And the franchise continues to receive backlash for not picking a direction.
Now it appears the Raptors have a court battle to settle.
It’ll be interesting to see what the repercussions will be, if the Raptors are found guilty of the allegations.
Have you subscribed to the Raptors Nation YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!