In August, the New York Knicks filed a lawsuit against the Raptors organization. New York alleged that former employee Ikechukwu Azotam shared more than 3,000 confidential, proprietary files with Toronto. Azotam spent three years with the Knicks before joining the Raptors over the summer.
In October, Toronto filed a motion to dismiss New York's lawsuit, referring to it as 'baseless' and a 'public relations stunt.' The Raptors also asked for NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to adjudicate the dispute.
In a court filing on Monday, the Knicks wrote that the organization is seeking more than $10 million in damages from the Raptors and that the commissioner shouldn't arbitrate the dispute.
ESPN reported on Tuesday that James Dolan resigned from the positions he held on the NBA Board of Governors.
Knicks are seeking more than $10 million in damages from the Raptors
New York wants the court to handle the dispute, not Adam Silver, which is what Toronto wants. The Knicks addressed Silver's close relationship with Raptors minority owner Larry Tanenbaum, who's also the Chairman of the Board of Governors.
"Among other things, Tanenbaum has been described as 'a close ally of Commissioner Adam Silver,'" the Knicks wrote. "Silver himself described Tanenbaum as 'not just my boss as the chairman of the board of governors, but he's very much a role model in my life.' If Silver were to preside over the instant dispute, he would be arbitrating a case for his boss and ally."- Baxter Holmes, ESPN
The Knicks also called Tanenbaum's position with the board of governors into question, claiming that he was selected as Chairman because of his relationship with Silver. That's quite the accusation.
"In practice, [Tanenbaum’s] elections have been performative,” the Knicks claim. “It is the NBA — led by Commissioner Silver — that handpicks the candidate for Chairman, a selection that is submitted by the league to the Board of Governors without an opposing nominee, thus leaving the Governors with no other option."- Stefan Bondy, New York Post
As much as the Raptors want this all to be over, the Knicks are prepared to prove in court that they're owed more than $10 million in damages. On Monday, an MSG Spokesperson issued a statement:
The division rivalry between New York and Toronto has another layer to it now. The Knicks will play the Raptors for the first time in the 2023-24 season on Friday, Dec. 1 when they visit Canada. Toronto will play its first game of the year at MSG shortly therafter on Monday, Dec. 11.