Toronto Raptors' president is turning the tables. Masai Ujiri has given an updated response to the accusations of assault brought against him by an Oakland security guard. In fact, Ujiri is now insisting he was the man who was assaulted during the NBA Finals, not vice versa.
A lawsuit was filed against Ujiri in February 2020 by Alan Strickland, a security officer at Oakland Arena, alleging that Ujiri struck the guard while trying to join his team after the final buzzer in Game 6 against the Golden State Warriors back in June 2019.
However, according to The Athletic on Friday, April 3, Ujiri is responding to that lawsuit by claiming he was, in fact, the one who was assaulted in the confrontation.
According to the Toronto Star, the 15-page response by the president highlights that other than the shoves, there were no other encounters between the two.
“As Mr. Ujiri attempted to enter the court, Mr. Strickland assaulted him, forcefully shoving him back once and then twice. Mr. Ujiri then shoved Mr. Strickland in the chest," reads part of the new statement made by Ujiri, via The Athletic.
"Other than the shoves, the two men did not have any further physical contact with each other. The entire encounter between Mr. Strickland and Mr. Ujiri was brief."
In July of last year, Masai Ujiri traded Kyle Lowry's best friend. In June 2019, Kyle Lowry made sure Toronto's Pr… https://t.co/7jAZHEpxk7— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter)1560489808.0
Notably, Strickland also decided to sue the NBA after the league suggested the guard may have actually been at fault.
However, the NBA's own response to the lawsuit stated that Strickland's claimed injuries, "if any, were caused by (Strickland’s) own aggressive acts and reasonable and justified acts in self-defence resulting directly from Plaintiffs' aggression,” according to the Star.
ALTERNATE FAN ANGLE: You can see Masai Ujiri apparently yelling back and forth with the Police Depty he had an alle… https://t.co/UNmO5Z4BFL— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints)1560553256.0
Ujiri's response doubled down on that view.
"The claims made in the complaint are barred, in whole or in part, because Plaintiff Alan Strickland’s alleged injuries arose from a risk inherent in the occupation of security guard," it argued.
After Strickland filed his lawsuit in February, Ujiri called the action "malicious" and said he felt something 'incredible' was taken away from him as he was unable to celebrate Canada's first-ever NBA title properly.
“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," he said at the time.
"This thing will be settled. The truth will come out. The truth will come out of this."
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Ujiri voiced how proud he is of the way his team responded to the COVID-19 panic after their recent opponent Rudy Gobert tested positive last month, bringing the NBA to a standstill.