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Knicks seek $10M+ in damages from Raptors, say Silver shouldn't arbitrate - ESPN

In a court filing Monday, the New York Knicks said they're seeking more than $10 million in damages from the Toronto Raptors as part of a lawsuit alleging the theft of thousands of confidential files, and argued that NBA commissioner Adam Silver shouldn't arbitrate the dispute in part because of his close relationship with Raptors governor Larry Tanenbaum.

The Knicks' filing, which was obtained by ESPN, came in response to the Raptors' Oct. 16 motion to dismiss the Knicks' initial complaint and have Silver arbitrate the dispute.

In Monday's filing, the Knicks also argued that Tanenbaum's position as the chairman of the NBA's board of governors would create a conflict of interest, as «Tanenbaum serves as Silver's boss and exercises control over and heavily influences Silver's continued employment and salary.» Further, the Knicks pointed to a friendship between Silver and Tanenbaum.

«Among other things, Tanenbaum has been described as 'a close ally of Commissioner Adam Silver,'» the Knicks wrote. «Silver himself described Tanenbaum as 'not just my boss as the chairman of the board of governors, but he's very much a role model in my life.' If Silver were to preside over the instant dispute, he would be arbitrating a case for his boss and ally.»

The Raptors declined comment.

Monday's filing marked the first instance of the Knicks describing potential monetary damages since they filed their initial complaint in August in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

That complaint accused former Knicks employee Ikechukwu Azotam, who worked for the Knicks from 2020 to 2023, of sending the Raptors thousands of confidential files — including play frequency reports, a prep book for the 2022-23 season, video scouting files, opposition