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Surprise, Surprise: Masai Ujiri Won't Be Charged For Allegedly "Concussing" Sheriff's Deputy After Winning NBA Finals

Photo: Tony Avelar (AP)

In a statement almost perfectly timed with the beginning of the defending champion Toronto Raptors’ season, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has announced that team president Masai Ujiri won’t be charged for his role in an altercation with a sheriff’s deputy that happened when he tried to get on the court immediately after the Raptors won the NBA championship this year.

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For those having a tough time remembering all the way back to June, when there was much ado about this confrontation, eyewitness accounts described Ujiri getting into a shoving match with a cop because, according to police, Ujiri didn’t have the correct credentials needed to get onto the court for the celebration. The cops got hot and bothered by this international incident and wanted to charge Ujiri with misdemeanor battery. Their side of the story included the memorable claim from police spokesperson Sgt. Ray Kelly that Ujiri presented his credential in a “very threatening kind of way.” But Kelly also said that the officer Ujiri shoved was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a concussion, and that there was HD footage from the arena that captured Ujiri hitting the officer with a fist that landed “underneath his jaw on the left side of his face.” (Eyewitness interviews from the Globe and Mail contradicted the claim that anyone got hit in the face.)

Whatever they had—which, if you believe the police, was supposedly hi-def video footage of a man hitting a sheriff’s deputy in the face and giving him a concussion—it clearly wasn’t enough to charge Ujiri with a crime. Almost as if the whole embarrassing shebang was a bunch of puffed-up nonsense birthed from the wounded pride of a few cops. According to the DA’s statement, all they needed to handle the situation was a meeting between the assistant D.A., Ujiri, and his lawyers, which was a decision apparently agreed to by both Ujiri and the Sheriff’s Department.

“Mr. Ujiri attended a meeting with the District Attorney’s Office focused on matters that we believe merited constructive, structured mediation and conflict resolution and were better handled in a setting outside of the courtroom,” the statement said. It didn’t provide any specific details of the meeting, but closed by saying that no further action would be taken. Sounds like a perfectly sensible way to handle what was an entirely ridiculous situation.

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