Raptors may countersue Knicks for defamation

Raptors may countersue Knicks for defamation

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The Toronto Raptors are exploring the possibility of countersuing the New York Knicks, according to The Athletic.

In August, a suit was brought forward to the Toronto Raptors by the Knicks. New York wanted to sue head coach Darko Rajaković, the parent company of the Raptors, and other personnel because they claim that Ikechukwu Azotam sent over 3,000 video files to Toronto after leaving the Knicks in 2020.

Toronto now says that they believe the Knickerbockers wrongfully want the case in federal court instead of letting the NBA handle it, essentially saying that it isn’t as big of a deal as New York thinks it is (or wants it to be). The Raptors have called the move a publicity stunt and think they are deliberately trying to cause harm to the team and Rajaković and his staff.

“If the Knicks were genuinely concerned that there had been misuse of confidential and proprietary information, they would have accepted the Raptors’ invitation to cooperate with the Knicks in undertaking an immediate and thorough investigation of the Knicks’ allegations,” MLSE’s (Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the Raptors) lawyers wrote, according to The Athletic. “And they would have sought immediate relief from the Commissioner — who could have ruled before the season even began — rather than mired themselves in lengthy judicial proceedings.”

The Knicks want to go to federal court because they believe the league’s arbitration clause is too broad. They also believe that Commissioner Adam Silver is too close to MLSE and the people who run it, and thus would be too biased in his decision.

“The Knicks’ aversion to his jurisdiction is simply because they know they will not like his determination,” MLSE wrote in its filing, according to The Athletic. “Although it is inevitable the Knicks’ claims will fail on the merits in any forum, this proceeding permits the Knicks to keep their allegations in the public media, causing harm to the Named Defendants.”

Original source here

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Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.