A Golden State Warriors investor has been banned immediately after shoving and cursing at Toronto Raptors player Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of the NBA Finals Wednesday night.
The NBA announced the news Thursday, June 6 that GSW executive Mark Stevens is barred for one season and has been fined $500,000 for the caught-on-camera incident.
“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,” the league said in a statement. “As the review of this matter continues, Mr. Stevens will not be permitted to attend NBA games.”
Stevens’ ban carries through the 2019-2020 NBA season, including the postseason.
During the fourth quarter of the game, Lowry dove into the courtside seats as he tried to save a ball as it bounced out of bounds. Stevens shoved the star and was removed from the game thereafter.
The Warriors issued a statement that night. It said in part that the team is “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.”
They added that Stevens would not attend any more finals games.
Speaking on the Game 3 incident Thursday, Lowry said the investor had cursed at him “multiple times” as he shoved the guard.
He also confirmed Stevens told him to “go f— yourself”
“There’s no room in our game for that,” Lowry told reporters. “I don’t think I could have handled it any better. … Things could have been a lot different if I reacted a different way … or put my hands on him … but the support I’ve gotten from fellow players, the league, is unbelievable.”
While he thanked the Warriors and the league for their statements, Lowry believes more should be done.
“He’s not a good look for the ownership group that they have,” he said. “A guy like that showing his true class … he shouldn’t be a part of our league. It’s just no place for that.”
Later, Lowry added of his feelings during the incident, “I was furious, I’m not going to lie.”
“This is what happens when you’re sitting courtside,” he explained. “It’s a possibility a guy is trying to make a hustle play.”
After his banning, Stevens issued a statement apologizing for his actions, noting he takes “full responsibility.”
“[I] am embarrassed by what transpired,” he said. “What I did was wrong and there is no excuse for it. Mr. Lowry deserves better, and I have reached out today in an attempt to directly apologize to him and other members of the Raptors and Warriors organizations. I’m grateful to those who accepted my calls.
“I hope that Mr. Lowry and others impacted by this lapse in judgement understand that the behavior I demonstrated last night does not reflect the person I am or have been throughout my life. I made a mistake and I’m truly sorry,” he added.