The Toronto Raptors organization, including several important names like head coach Darko Rajakovic, has been entangled in a legal matter that has seen the Knicks sue them and accuse the team of stealing items such as play frequency reports, video reports, and prep books.
The Knicks claim that Ike Azotam, a former team employee who left to join the Raptors, engaged in the theft of thousands of team files, with Toronto directly benefitting from his pilfering. The Raptors have largely been claiming the Knicks are blowing this lawsuit out of proportion.
While the Knicks claim the Raptors employee stole proprietary information, Toronto seems less concerned with the legal matter at hand, as it appears they are trying to make it seem as if the Knicks are being frivolous. Toronto is also gearing up for a potential retaliatory suit.
Per Baxter Holmes of ESPN, the Raptors and several defendants named in the lawsuit are preparing to countersue the Knicks for defamation, citing what they believe to be a "clear violation of criminal and civil law." This legal battle may go on for a few extra months.
Toronto Raptors hint at countersuing New York Knicks.
The Raptors have hit back at the Knicks' reluctance to have Commissioner Adam Silver serve as a mediating partner in this dispute. New York cites Silver's relationship with Raptors owner Larry Tannenbaum and the fact that the Knicks were seeking more damages than the maximum penalty a commissioner can issue.
"The NBA Commissioner is not biased and he is the best person to adjudicate this dispute," the Raptors said. "Akin to a coach bemoaning an injury to his star player even before the game, the Knicks seek to excuse their inevitable loss on the merits by attacking the integrity of the NBA Commissioner."
One of the main sticking points in the lawsuit is the nature of the information taken by Azotam. The Knicks claim the information taken was proprietary, but the Raptors believe the information should not be classed as such. Toronto said if the Knicks were genuinely concerned about such valuable info being taken, they would have "accepted the Raptors' invitation to cooperate with the Knicks in undertaking an immediate and thorough investigation."
Rather than a speedy settlement, it appears as though the Raptors are reserving the right to retaliate and countersue. This legal matter will likely drag on for a bit longer, and a resolution seems quite far away.