In a filing filed with the court on Monday, New York Knicks they said they are seeking more than $10 million in damages from Toronto Raptors in a lawsuit alleging the theft of thousands of confidential files.
The Knicks also argued that NBA commissioner Adam Silver should not arbitrate the case because of his close relationship with Raptors governor Larry Tanenbaum.
The Knicks’ filing was obtained by ESPN on Monday. The filing follows the Raptors’ Oct. 16 motion, which sought to dismiss the Knicks’ initial appeal and asked Silver to arbitrate the dispute.
In Monday’s filing, the Knicks also argued that Tanenbaum’s position as chairman of the NBA Board of Directors would create a conflict of interest because “Tanenbaum is Silver’s boss and has control and influence that strongly supports Silver’s continued employment and salary. In addition, the Knicks noted the friendship between Silver and Tanenbaum.
The Knicks’ complaint centers on Ikechukwu Azota, a former employee of the organization between 2020 and 2023. The Knicks accuse him of sending the Raptors thousands of confidential files, including strategic reports, a 2022-23 prep book, video scouting files, research on the team’s opponents and more – after the Toronto organization began recruiting him to join them in the summer of 2023.
The Knicks also accused Azotam — who worked for the Knicks as an assistant video coordinator, then as director of video and analytics and as a player development assistant — of violating a confidentiality clause in his employment contract. They alleged that members of the Raptors “directed the actions of Azotam and/or benefited from Azotam’s illegal actions.” »
The Raptors declined to comment on the allegations made in the lawsuit ESPN.