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New Video Sheds Light on 2019 NBA Finals Incident Between Raptors' Masai Ujiri and Sheriff's Deputy


New video released Tuesday appears to show Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Alan Strickland shoving Raptors president Masai Ujiri in the chest twice as Ujiri tries to celebrate with his team following the franchise's title-clinching victory vs. Golden State in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals.

The footage was released as a result of Ujiri filing a countersuit Tuesday in Oakland, Calif.

At the time of the altercation, Ujiri was reportedly denied access to the court, and the team's celebration, because he reportedly did not have the correct credentials to be allowed on the floor.

Now, according to attorneys representing Ujiri, Strickland was "undeniably the initial aggressor" in the situation. 

The video appears to show that Ujiri did have his credentials out.

Strickland tells Ujiri in the video to "back the f--- up," according to lawyers representing Ujiri, per KTVU, based out of the Bay Area.

"What are you pushing me for?" Ujiri asks. "I'm the president of the Raptors."

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"After being shoved and cursed at, Mr. Ujiri did not respond aggressively towards Mr. Strickland," the suit says. "Instead, he calmly asked Mr. Strickland why he had pushed him, informed Mr. Strickland he was the Raptors' President, and held up his all-access arena credential to show it to Mr. Strickland. Rather than trying to communicate with Mr. Ujiri, Mr. Strickland chose to dismiss Mr. Ujiri's claim that he was the Raptors' President and ignore the all-access credential Mr. Ujiri was trying to show him. Mr. Strickland then forcefully shoved Mr. Ujiri a second time.

The Raptors related a statement on Tuesday, saying, in part that "We are mindful this remains before the courts, but we have always maintained that the claims made against Masai are baseless and entirely without merit."

Prior to the release of the video, the public largely had to rely on witness accounts of the incident. A cell phone video also circulated on social media documenting the encounter. 

In February, Strickland filed a federal lawsuit against Ujiri, alleging the Raptors president shoved him so hard that he suffered physical injuries to his head, jaw, chin and teeth.

Strickland also filed a workers' compensation claim alleging Ujiri "circumvented" the security checkpoint and additionally claimed Ujiri had a "violent predisposition" and acted with an "evil motive amounting to malice," according to his suit and workers' compensation claims, per KTVU.

No criminal charges were ever filed against Ujiri. The Raptors president called the lawsuit "malicious" and previously refuted Strickland's account of the altercation.

"To me, it's incredible that things play out like that," Ujiri said in February. "I think something incredible was taken away from me and I will never forget it. It is one of the things that drives me to win another championship because I want to be able to celebrate a championship the right way. This thing will be settled.

"The truth will come out. The truth will come out of this."