The New York Knicks sued the Toronto Raptors, their new head coach Darko Rajaković and a former Knicks employee on Monday for sharing confidential team information, according to SNY.
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The Knicks organization filed the case in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The team alleges that Ikechukwu Azotam, a member of the video team who was promoted during his tenure on the staff, sent the Raptors “thousands” of pieces of confidential information, including information about plays, preparation and scouting videos.
The Knicks said that Azotam “illegally procured and disclosed proprietary information” while he was a member of the franchise, according to a statement obtained by SNY’s Ian Begley.
“Given the clear violation of our employment agreement, criminal and civil law, we were left no choice but to take this action,” the statement said.
MSG Sports, the company that owns the Knicks, reportedly informed the Raptors of the violations last week, but the defendants learned the franchise was taking legal action when the lawsuit was filed.
“The company strongly denies any involvement in the matters alleged,” Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the Raptors’ parent company, who is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, said. “MLSE and the Toronto Raptors will reserve further comment until this matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.”.
According to ESPN, the Knicks are seeking unspecified damages and are asking for the Raptors to not use the information provided by Azotam.
Rajaković was hired as the Raptors head coach in June. He reportedly recruited Azotam to join his staff while Azotam was still on the Knicks. Azotam sent the files to the Toronto franchise in order to help the first-time head coach set up his program. Azotam informed New York of his new job with their division rival in July.