The Knicks filed a lawsuit on Monday alleging that former employee Ikechukwu Azotam “illegally took thousands of proprietary files with him to his new position” with the Raptors, which he then shared with his new club, reports Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter thread).
Azotam, who was hired away by Toronto this offseason, allegedly shared the proprietary information with “several members” of the team, including head coach Darko Rajakovic and player development coach Noah Lewis, Begley adds.
The lawsuit alleges Azotam signed a confidentiality agreement with the Knicks which required him “to maintain the secrecy of all confidential or proprietary Knicks information.” A source tells Begley the Knicks contacted both the Raptors and the NBA prior to filing the lawsuit in the Southern District of New York.
According to Begley, the lawsuit also alleges that the Raptors “directed Azotam to misuse his access to the Knicks’ subscription to Synergy Sports to create and then transfer to the Raptors Defendants over 3,000 files consisting of film information and data.”
A Madision Square Garden Sports spokesperson released a statement to Begley regarding the lawsuit (Twitter thread).
“The New York Knicks have sued the Toronto Raptors and several members of their organization, including a former Knicks employee, after the former employee illegally took thousands of proprietary files with him to his new position with the Toronto Raptors. These files include confidential information such as play frequency reports, a prep book for the 2022-23 season, video scouting files and materials and more.
“Given the clear violation of our employment agreement, criminal and civil law, we were left no choice but to take this action.”
[UPDATE: Raptors Respond To Lawsuit]
In addition to Azotam, Rajakovic, and Lewis, 10 other Raptors employees are also accused of wrongdoing, tweets Steve Popper of Newsday. Those employees are currently unknown — they’re listed as John Does “1” through “10.”