Raptors president Masai Ujiri has spoken out against the lawsuit a sheriff's deputy filed against him stemming from an altercation between the two immediately after Toronto clinched the NBA title in the Golden State Warriors' arena.
"It's malicious in a way," he told The Canadian Press on Wednesday while in Senegal to promote the 2022 Youth Olympics. "To me, it's incredible that things play out like that. 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."
Ujiri continued: "It's incredible that this malicious kind of claim, if I've been dismissed with the criminal case, then I really don't know what this means for me. There is no case there and I look forward to whatever is coming."
Alan Strickland and his wife, Kelly Strickland, are suing Ujiri, the Raptors, the franchise's parent company Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, and the NBA for damages exceeding $75,000.
According to court documents, the Stricklands allege Ujiri "hit him in the face and chest with both fists" after the Raptors executive refused to show his credentials when he attempted to walk on the court following Game 6 of The Finals.
The suit, filed Friday, says Strickland suffered injuries that caused him "great mental, physical, and nervous pain" that will "result in some permanent disability." The plaintiffs also allege that the other defendants in the suit "knew, or should have known, (Ujiri) had a violent predisposition and propensity for physical violence."
Video capturing at least some of the confrontation was shared to social media in June. Ujiri can be seen shoving an officer away before the two are quickly separated. The Raptors president is then pulled onto the court by guard Kyle Lowry in order to join the team's celebrations.
In October, the Alameda County District Attorney's office announced that Ujiri would not face criminal charges over the incident.