The Golden State Warriors co-owner who shoved Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of the NBA Finals is facing serious consequences for his actions.
The league announced that Mark Stevens has been banned from NBA games for one year and will face a $500,000 fine.
The Warriors said Thursday that Stevens, who is a Silicon Valley investor and is listed in the team’s media guide as a member of its six-person executive board, apologized to Lowry and the Raptors.
With just under 11 minutes to go, Lowry went into a row of seats along the sideline in an effort to save a loose ball during Wednesday night’s game at Oracle Arena. The Toronto star landed a few seats to Stevens’ left and video shows Lowry then being shoved in the left shoulder.
The 13-year veteran said he spoke with NBA officials about the incident before leaving the arena. He told The Associated Press that the man, who was not identified at the time, made a vulgar comment to him repeatedly during the brief exchange.
“There’s no place for that, he had no reason to touch me, he had no reason to reach over two seats and say some vulgar language to me,” said Lowry Wednesday night. “There’s no place for people like that in our league. Hopefully he never comes back to an NBA game.”
At a news conference Thursday, reiterated his feelings.
“”It’s not a good look for the ownership group that they have… A guy like that showing his true class, he shouldn’t be a part of our league. There’s just no place for that.”
When asked how he kept his cool during the confrontation, Lowry said he was thinking of his kids.
“I’m a grown man, you know my kids can always go back and see that… that’s a big thing for me. Being a guy that, you know, upholds himself to a high standard and never let guys like him get under your skin you know because that’s bullcrap.”
Warriors Coach Steve Kerr and star Stephen Curry also weighed in Thursday.
“I have not seen the play,” Kerr said. “I didn’t see it last night. I saw the commotion afterwards. But I haven’t seen a replay. And I didn’t really even know the story until this morning. I know our organization has put out a release and I will let the release speak for itself. It’s really not my jurisdiction. But I will also personally apologize to Kyle and to the Raptors, that’s unacceptable.”
Curry added, “Obviously an unfortunate situation all the way around. Credit Kyle the way he handled it. A lot of different reactions you could have had. But he handled it correctly. I know our team and organization is addressing, you know, the situation and will act accordingly. We don’t want to see that in our game and hopefully that doesn’t happen. I don’t necessarily think it’s a reflection of how we handle business here as a warriors organization and franchise. We have a high standard and do things with class and professionalism. And I know Mark is apologetic and what not. But we’ll handle the situation like I said the organization is going to do that. Just want respect for the game all the way around. Fans, owners, team, players, coaches everybody because there is so much good happening on the court we want to keep the spotlight on that.”
In a release, Golden State offered an apology to Lowry and the Raptors, “Mr. Stevens’ behavior last night did not reflect the high standards that we hope to exemplify as an organization. We’re extremely disappointed in his actions and, along with Mr. Stevens, offer our sincere apology to Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors organization for this unfortunate misconduct. There is no place for such interaction between fans — or anyone — and players at an NBA game. Mr. Stevens will not be in attendance at any of the remaining games of the 2019 NBA Finals. Review of this matter is ongoing.”
The Warriors said their probe into the matter is ongoing. The NBA is also investigating, and reiterated that Stevens won’t be allowed at any NBA games while the events are reviewed.
“A team representative must be held to the highest possible standard and the conduct of Golden State Warriors investor Mark Stevens last night was beyond unacceptable and has no place in our league,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said.
Lowry scored 23 points in Toronto’s 123-109 victory. The Raptors lead the series 2-1 going into Friday’s Game 4 at Oracle.
If you ask us, Mark Stevens should be removed from the league permanently. They can find another investor.