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Rick Zamperin: Masai Ujiri calls civil suit against him ‘malicious’ — and he’s right

Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri, center left, walks with his arm around guard Kyle Lowry after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif.
Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri, center left, walks with his arm around guard Kyle Lowry after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif. AP Photo/Tony Avelar

Like a bad dream that just won’t go away, a California cop has filed a civil suit against Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri.

Sheriff’s deputy Alan Strickland claims that he suffered injuries “which caused and continue to cause great mental, physical, emotional and psychological pain and suffering” after a shoving match with the Raptors executive that was partially captured on video after Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Oakland, California.

It happened on June 13, after Toronto won its first NBA championship against the Golden State Warriors, when Ujiri tried to get onto the court to join his team in the celebration and Strickland stopped him because he didn’t provide the proper credentials.

READ MORE: Toronto Raptors’ Masai Ujiri says assault lawsuit is ‘malicious’

Prosecutors decided in October not to press criminal charges against Ujiri, who calls the lawsuit “malicious.”

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Ujiri, whose team’s franchise record 15-game winning streak ended Wednesday night with a 101-91 loss in Brooklyn, can also claim mental, physical, emotional and psychological pain and suffering since he wasn’t allowed to celebrate with his team.

“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,” said Ujiri while visiting Dakar, Senegal this week.

In my opinion, what we have here is a police officer who has a bruised ego, if anything, and wants his side of the story to come with some kind of validation.

If the legal system does its job, Ujiri shouldn’t have to fork over a dime.

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