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Knicks Vote Against Toronto WNBA Franchise Due to Petty Reason



(Photo : Sarah Stier/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Jalen Brunson (#11) of the New York Knicks dribbles against RJ Barrett (#9) of the Toronto Raptors during the first half at Madison Square Garden on January 20, 2024 in New York City.

Toronto is set to be granted an expansion WNBA franchise, becoming the next city to join the league, with plans to commence play in the 2026 season.

The move was met with minimal resistance, as the WNBA governors voted 13-0 in favor. However, it wasn’t unanimous, as the NBA’s Board of Governors voted 29-1 in favor.

The New York Knicks were the only team to vote against Toronto’s entry to the WNBA, presumably for petty reasons.

The WNBA Toronto franchise will be owned and operated by Larry Tanenbaum’s Kilmer Sports Ventures.

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Tanenbaum, who also serves as the chairman of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and has a 25 percent stake in the company, owns the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, with whom the Knicks have a legal feud. 

New York Knicks’ legal battle with the Toronto Raptors

The Knicks and Raptors have been embroiled in a legal battle since the 2023 offseason. Former Knicks employee Ikechukwu Azotam allegedly stole proprietary information when he took a job with the Raptors in June 2023.

“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,” according to an MSG statement at that time.

In November 2023, the Knicks submitted a court document seeking $10 million in damages. However, in a December court filing, the Raptors argued that the matter was better suited for league arbitration.

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