The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

Knicks sue Raptors for alleged theft


The New York Knicks’ lawsuit against the Toronto Raptors just escalated to a new level. In a court filing, the Knicks are asking for $10 million in damages and are arguing that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver should not mediate the situation.

The whole ordeal started back in August when the Knicks sued the Raptors and a number of their coaches over an alleged theft of proprietary information.

According to the Knicks, Ikechukwu Azotam, who is now the Raptors’ head of video and an assistant player development coach, used his position with the Knicks from 2020 to 2023 to steal play frequency reports, a prep book for the 2022-23 season, video scouting files, materials and more before joining the Raptors.

The Knicks allege that he did this in order to help first-year head coach Darko Rajakovic organize, plan and structure the new coaching and video operations staff.

Back in October, the Raptors filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which they described as “baseless” and a “public relations stunt.” While the Raptors’ filing did admit that Azotam used his Knicks credentials to obtain files, it asserts that he would have had access to the exact same information with his Raptors credentials once those were set up.

“These were not the Knicks’ team and player statistics, play frequency data, player tendencies or play calls,” the Raptors said in their motion to dismiss.

“I think the Knicks have every right to sue,” said Tucker Sutton, a senior accounting major. “However, I do not think it will affect their season at all. I don’t see this having a major impact on the players, so their season should be just fine.”

In their response, the Knicks claimed that because Raptors owner Larry Tanenbaum serves as Silver’s boss and exercises control over — and heavily influences — Silver’s continued employment and salary, Silver should not be allowed to arbitrate the dispute.

“I think the Knicks are definitely going too far into a conspiracy,” said Michael LaRusso, a junior business major. “Even if they did steal all of that stuff, I don’t see how it would be all that advantageous for them.”

The Knicks also argued that the matter should be decided by the courts because it is a dispute about the theft of traded secrets by a disloyal employee, a scenario that is not contemplated by the NBA Constitution.

As the Knicks intend to prove at trial, damages exceed $10 million. The Knicks also intend to seek attorneys’ fees.

“The Knicks have every right to be mad and to sue the Raptors,” said Toby Gaynes, a junior mass communication major. “This was all calculated and done on purpose, so I fully agree with how they are handling it.”

“We were the victim of a theft of proprietary and confidential files, which is a clear violation of criminal and civil law, and we remain confident that the Court will decide in our favor in this matter,” said a Madison Square Garden spokesperson in a statement to ESPN following the filing.

The Raptors have denied all accusations. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Bobcat Multimedia Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *