Police are investigating Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri for allegedly pushing and hitting a sheriff’s deputy while trying to make his way onto the court for the postgame celebration at Oracle Arena following Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, according to NBC Bay Area’s Kristofer Noceda and Gonzalo Rojas.
Noceda tweeted video of the incident in question:
Kristofer Noceda @krisnoceda
#BREAKING: Sheriff’s deputy reportedly pushed and struck in the face by a man believed to be a Toronto Raptors executive after Game 6 of the #NBAFinals at Oracle Arena, @ACSOSheriffs says. https://t.co/fobdK9iWEq https://t.co/a4X0IysY5Z
“We can confirm our deputy was pushed and struck by a Raptors executive after he asked him for his credentials to go on the court at the end of the game,” Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ray Kelly said in a statement, according to Noceda and Rojas. “We are working with the Oakland Police Department to file a report and contact witnesses and review video.”
The alleged assault is being categorized as misdemeanor battery on an officer.
Per Noceda and Rojas, Ujiri was initially not allowed on the court because he did not have the proper credentials. He eventually gained access to the celebration, though, with the help of Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry.
The 49-year-old Ujiri was not arrested.
After being named the NBA Executive of the Year with the Denver Nuggets in 2013, Ujiri has spent the last six season as part of the Toronto front office. He has served as both the team’s president and general manager and this season helped deliver the Raptors’ first-ever championship.
Ujiri has two years remaining on his contract with Toronto, though ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Washington Wizards are interested in hiring Ujiri as their head of basketball operations. Per Wojnarowski, the Wizards are prepared to offer Ujiri a deal featuring almost $10 million annually and ownership equity in the club.