A sheriff's deputy was allegedly pushed and struck in the face by Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri who was trying to make his way to the court after Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena Thursday, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said.
The incident occurred moments after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors to give Canada its first-ever NBA championship. Sheriff's officials said the deputy denied Ujiri access to the court because he didn't have proper credentials.
Video of the aftermath of the alleged incident shows a man pleading and stopping deputies from getting to Ujiri, who eventually gets onto the court for the championship ceremony after Raptors player Kyle Lowry pulls him from the crowd.
According to the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, Ujiri was trying to get into the court but did not have the proper credentials. The deputy asked for the credentials and told Ujiri he couldn't get on the court without them, at which point Ujiri pushed the deputy striking him in the face, the sheriff's office said. The deputy then pushed Ujiri back, the sheriff's office said.
In a statement issued Friday, the Raptors said: “The incident is being looked at, and we are cooperating with authorities. We look forward to resolving the situation.”
NBA spokesman Mike Bass released the following statement Friday:
"We are in contact with the Raptors and local authorities and in the process of gathering more information"
Deputies are calling the incident a misdemeanor battery on an officer and they, along with the Oakland Police Department, are investigating the matter.
Ujiri wasn't taken into custody, but officers plan to hand the case to the district attorney, officials said.
"We are working with the Oakland Police Department to file a report and contact witnesses and review video," Sgt. Ray Kelly with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
Warriors president of basketball operations, Bob Myers, during a press conference Friday afternoon said he heard about the incident involving Ujiri and the deputy, but has yet to see video.
"I hope it gets resolved in the best way possible," Myers said.