Sheriff’s deputy asking for dismissal of Masai Ujiri’s counterclaim over shoving incident at NBA Finals

Click to play video: 'New footage released in Masai Ujiri incident during 2019 NBA Finals' New footage released in Masai Ujiri incident during 2019 NBA Finals
WATCH ABOVE (Aug 19): Video released by lawyers for Masai Ujiri appears to show a sheriff’s deputy shoving the executive twice in the moments following the team’s 2019 NBA Finals win in Oakland, Calif – Aug 19, 2020

OAKLAND, Calif. — Lawyers for an American law enforcement officer have filed a motion to dismiss a counterclaim to a lawsuit from Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri in the aftermath of an altercation at last year’s NBA Finals.

In filings to the United States District Court in California on Monday, Alameda County sheriff’s deputy Alan Strickland’s legal team says it will ask for a dismissal.

A Zoom hearing is scheduled for Nov. 17.

Read more: Sheriff’s deputy says Masai Ujiri falsely alleges ‘racial animus’ in counterclaim

The dispute came as Ujiri tried to get on the court after the Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors to capture the NBA title last June.

The Raptors have said that a video released with the countersuit proves Ujiri wasn’t the aggressor in the dispute.

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The footage appears to show Strickland using his arm to stop Ujiri from getting to the court. As Ujiri tries to walk by, Strickland shoves Ujiri before the two appear to exchange words.

The video shows Strickland shoving Ujiri again, leading to Ujiri pushing Strickland back.

READ MORE: Warriors president apologizes to Masai Ujiri over shoving video

In the most recent documents, Strickland’s lawyers said he would have risked Ujiri “potentially committing any number of possibly serious crimes” if the deputy had not employed force.

The document says because it was a high-profile sporting event, there is a risk of crime. It lists examples including the 1993 stabbing of tennis star Monica Seles, the killing of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics and the 2004 NBA brawl between the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers.

The document alleges Ujiri did not co-operate with officials.

“But just as Mr. Ujiri had completely ignored the private security official, he completely ignored Deputy Strickland’s words, gesture, and attempt at gentle physical guidance,” the document says.

READ MORE: Masai Ujiri says anti-Black racism behind shoving incident at NBA Finals

Previously, Strickland’s legal team alleged Ujiri’s counterclaim is driven by race and a bias against law enforcement.

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The Raptors declined to comment.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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