Knicks suing Raptors over bizarre allegations is disgraceful look for Toronto

It doesn’t matter that we’re in the middle of the dead part of the offseason; the NBA can’t go without drama. The New York Knicks sit atop the news cycle because of a bizarre turn of events that has led the organization to sue one of their division rivals.

SNY’s Ian Begley reported that New York is suing Toronto because of the actions of a former Knicks employee, Ikechukwu Azotam.

New York hired Azotam in November 2020 as an assistant video coordinator, but he moved up the ranks to a director of video/analytics/player development. The 32-year-old was hired by Toronto earlier this offseason. Allegedly, the Raptors, including new head coach Darko Rajakovic, used Azotam as a Knicks insider, although the former video coordinator had signed a confidentiality clause with New York.

Begley reported that the Knicks “reached out” to the Raptors and the league before filing the lawsuit.

A statement from an MSG spokesperson added that the lawsuit was filed after the ex-employee “illegally took thousands of proprietary files with him to his new position” with the Raptors.

“These files include confidential information such as play frequency reports, a prep book for the 2022-23 season, video scouting files and materials and more,” according to the statement. “Given the clear violation of our employment agreement, criminal and civil law, we were left no choice but to take this action.”

New York sues Toronto over ex-Knicks employee Ikechukwu Azotam

What a start to the Darko Rajakovic era in Toronto. After the Raptors fired Nick Nurse, the 44-year-old was awarded his first head coaching gig in the NBA (outside of the G League) this offseason. Rajakovic hasn’t even coached a preseason yet but is already under fire.

If what New York claimed in the lawsuit is true, it’ll be interesting to see how the situation plays out in the courtroom and the court. Out of the four other teams in the Atlantic Division, the Raptors are the least hated by most Knicks fans, but that might’ve changed now.

As much as this is an embarrassing look for Masai Ujiri, there have been some humorous responses in true NBA X (formerly known as Twitter) fashion.

Don’t expect the Knicks and Raptors to engage in an O.G. Anunoby trade anytime soon. In all seriousness, this is a serious allegation against Toronto, and it should be treated as such.

The Knicks will visit the Raptors for the first time in 2023-24 on Dec. 1, and 10 days later, Darko Rajakovic and Toronto will be at the Garden. Surely he’ll get a warm reception from New York’s faithful!