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Deputies pursue complaint against Raptors president after altercation with deputy

By
Connor Grott

June 14 (UPI) -- Authorities in California say they are pursuing a complaint against the Toronto Raptors president, who was involved in a physical altercation with a deputy after Game 6 of the NBA Finals, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office told U.S. Today on Friday.

The incident occurred after the Toronto Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors for their first NBA championship in franchise history Thursday night. Officials said the deputy denied the Raptors chief access to the court because he didn't have the proper credentials.

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"We were told to strictly enforce the credentialing policy and not allow anyone onto the court without a credential, so our deputies were doing that," sheriff's office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said. The deputy stopped Masai Ujiri "as he attempted to walk onto the court. He had no credential displayed, and our deputy asked for his credential."

Ujiri didn't produce anything and "pushed our deputy out of the way to gain access to the court," Kelly said. "Our deputy tried to stop him and pushed him backward. Then Mr. Ujiri came back with a second shove, a more significant push that, with his forward momentum, struck our deputy in the face.

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"At that point, our deputy pushed Mr. Ujiri away again and some NBA security people and others intervened and he ended up walking onto the court."

In a video showing the end of the altercation, Ujiri and deputy are seen being separated by a crowd of people. The Raptors president wasn't arrested, but deputies plan to submit the case to the district attorney for review.

"Any time you push a police officer in California, it's a misdemeanor, battery of a police officer," spokesman Kelly said.

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Raptors guard Kyle Lowry pulled Ujiri onto the court to celebrate the team's win immediately after the alleged incident.

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The Raptors earned a 114-110 win over the Warriors, ending Golden State's quest for a three-peat. Ujiri was credited for playing a major part in Toronto's championship run, swinging trades for Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka.

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