Masai Ujiri, the president of basketball operations and basic supervisor of the Toronto Raptors, could also be charged with assault after an altercation with a California sheriff’s deputy late Thursday, shortly after his group received Recreation 6 of the N.B.A. finals, the authorities mentioned on Friday.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Workplace mentioned that it might pursue misdemeanor assault expenses in opposition to Mr. Ujiri, one of many N.B.A.’s most celebrated front-office executives.
The incident is claimed to have occurred at Oracle Enviornment in Oakland, Calif., moments after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors to offer Canada its first N.B.A. championship.
Mr. Ujiri made his solution to the courtroom to hitch the celebrating group, however an Alameda County sheriff’s deputy stopped him as a result of he didn’t have the correct credentials, mentioned Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesman for the sheriff’s workplace.
The deputy was not conscious that Mr. Ujiri was a high-ranking group govt till after the altercation, Sergeant Kelly mentioned.
The sheriff’s workplace mentioned that Mr. Ujiri tried to push the deputy out of the best way. After a number of shoves forwards and backwards, Mr. Ujiri struck the deputy’s face, in accordance with Sergeant Kelly.
At that time, a number of others pulled Mr. Ujiri away from the deputy and onto the courtroom.
Journalists posted videos that caught the tip of the incident, displaying a person pleading with deputies to permit Mr. Ujiri to cross.
Mr. Ujiri was not arrested on the area. “As a substitute of making a extra important incident at this worldwide postgame occasion, we determined to take the excessive highway and stop and desist,” Sergeant Kelly mentioned.
“What we’re now doing is compiling witness statements and video physique cam proof to undergo the D.A. subsequent week for evaluation,” he added. “It’s as much as the D.A. to file expenses for misdemeanor assault on a police officer.”
Greg Wiener, a 61-year-old Warriors fan and season ticket holder, told The Associated Press that he witnessed the encounter and didn’t see Mr. Ujiri strike the deputy within the face. Mr. Wiener mentioned the deputy didn’t ask for credentials earlier than placing his hand on Mr. Ujiri’s chest and pushing him, at which level Mr. Ujiri shoved again earlier than bystanders intervened, The A.P. reported.
Sergeant Kelly mentioned that safety had been heightened as a result of it was the Warriors’ final sport at Oracle Enviornment earlier than the group strikes to San Francisco.
“We had been informed by the N.B.A. and safety officers to strictly implement the credential coverage,” Sergeant Kelly mentioned.
The Raptors’ path to the championship was largely orchestrated by Mr. Ujiri, who’s Nigerian and one of many few black basic managers in a league dominated by black gamers however largely managed by white group homeowners and front-office executives. Mr. Ujiri received the N.B.A.’s govt of the 12 months award in 2013 when he was with the Denver Nuggets.
“We’re in touch with the Raptors and native authorities and within the means of gathering extra data,” Michael Bass, an N.B.A. spokesman, mentioned on Friday.
The Raptors mentioned in an announcement that the group was cooperating with the authorities and likewise wanting into the matter, The Related Press reported. The Oakland Police Division mentioned it was additionally investigating the matter.