Raptors file motion to dismiss Knicks’ lawsuit


TORONTO – The Toronto Raptors have asked for the New York Knicks lawsuit against them to be dismissed.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Raptors, filed the motion for dismissal in New York’s Southern District today.

MLSE filed the legal documents on behalf of the NBA club, head coach Darko Rajakovic and 12 other individual defendants.

Legal documents show that MLSE is asking the court to put the matter before an arbiter, dismiss the lawsuit, or stay the legal proceedings until that proposed arbitration is resolved.

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Spokespeople for MLSE and the Raptors offered no comment on the new motion or the lawsuit itself.

The Knicks filed suit against the Raptors, Rajakovic and former Knicks scouting employee Ikechukwu Azotam on Aug. 22, alleging the defendants conspired to steal thousands of videos and other scouting secrets in July and August.

The Knicks are seeking unspecified damages and a ban on the further spread of their trade secrets.

They claim that their intellectual property — scouting and play frequency reports, a prep book and a link to valuable software — has been downloaded thousands of times by Raptors employees.

The lawsuit identified Azotam as the alleged mole. Since August 2021 Azotam had directed the planning, organizing and distribution of all video scouting responsibilities for the Knicks’ coaching staff.

The Knicks allege Rajakovic, hired as Toronto’s new head coach in June, player development coach Noah Lewis and 10 unidentified Raptors employees received proprietary information and sometimes directed Azotam to misuse his access to Knicks information.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 16, 2023.

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press

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