Ex-Knicks Employee Charged With Felony Burglary, Stealing Confidential NBA Info: Report

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A former New York Knicks employee was fired from his job with the Minnesota Timberwolves after he was charged with stealing a hard drive containing internal “strategic NBA information,” ESPN reported on Wednesday, March 20. The incident occurred in early February 2024.

Somak Sarkar, who served as the Knicks’ coordinator of coaching analytics briefly in 2021, according to his LinkedIn profile, was arrested on Monday, March 18, and charged with felony third-degree burglary, the outlet reported.

According to the complaint obtained by ESPN, Timberwolves executive vice president Sachin Gupta left a hard drive in his Target Center office on February 2 containing “personal financial information as well as private information for the team.” Upon his return on February 5, the drive was missing.

A surveillance camera review showed Sarkar entering Gupta’s office twice on February 3 and leaving “after looking to see if anyone could see him,” according to the outlet.

A “forensic analysis” of the recovered hard drive revealed that “more than 5,000 files” had been accessed and downloaded on a separate device, according to ESPN, and a police search at Sarkar’s home amid his arrest yielded a device that “contained information from Gupta’s hard drive.”

Additional reporting from ESPN’s Baxter Holmes on Thursday, March 21 revealed that Sarkar is now on “supervised release” while awaiting his next scheduled court date on May 16.

Somak Sarkar Has Worked for Multiple NBA Teams

According to the complaint cited by ESPN, Sarkar was “transferred out of Gupta’s department in August 2023 and to the coaching staff because of poor job performance.”

In addition to his brief stint with the Knicks from January to July 2021, Sakar’s LinkedIn profile highlights previous roles with multiple teams around the NBA.

Most notably, the 33-year-old spent seven years with the New Orleans Pelicans between 2013 and 2020, departing with the title of manager of basketball analytics.

His first NBA role was a seasonal basketball operations internship with the Houston Rockets in 2012-13. He graduated from Rice University in 2013.

Not the 1st Ex-Knicks Employee Accused of Stealing Information

It is not the first time a former Knicks employee has been accused of stealing confidential information.

The Knicks have an ongoing lawsuit against their former analytics director Ike Azotam, whom they accused of illegally bringing thousands of proprietary files with him to his new position with the Toronto Raptors.

The lawsuit, filed on August 21, 2023, claims that Darko Rajaković, a first-time head coach, and the other Raptors defendants “conspired to use Azotam’s position as a current Knicks insider to funnel proprietary information to the Raptors to help them organize, plan, and structure the new coaching and video operations staff.”

According to the lawsuit, they have also 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.

Raptors File Motion to Dismiss

In October 2023, the Raptors responded by filing a motion to dismiss the Knicks’ lawsuit, slamming it as a PR stunt.

“The Knicks’ conduct from the outset of this dispute leaves no doubt that their goal has been to elicit negative press attention against the Named Defendants rather than the pursuit of valid claims,” the Raptors said in their sternly worded court filing on October 16 obtained by the New York Post.

However, the lawsuit did not prevent the Knicks and the Raptors from consummating the OG Anunoby trade on December 31.

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