- Mark Stevens, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, made headlines this week for shoving Toronto Raptors player Kyle Lowry during an NBA Finals game.
- Stevens – a partial owner of the Raptors’ opponent, the Golden State Warriors – was fined $US500,000 and barred for a year from attending any NBA games or Warriors events.
- Here’s what you need to know about the billionaire former Sequoia Capital partner who has invested in companies such as Google,PayPal, and LinkedIn.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The NBA Finals are taking place this week between the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors, but the antics of a courtside venture capitalist are taking center stage instead.
Mark Stevens, an investor in tech startups, was seen on video shoving Raptors player Kyle Lowry, who dove into the stands to chase an errant ball during Game 3 on Wednesday. Not only was Stevens kicked out of the arena, but the NBA also fined him $US500,000 and barred him from attending any basketball games for a year.
Stevens, who owns a minority stake in the Golden State Warriors, won’t be allowed to be present at the arena to see whether his team can beat the Raptors in the finals.
Stevens did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on the incident.
Here’s what you need to know about Mark Stevens, the billionaire VC whose investment portfolio includes Google, PayPal, and LinkedIn:
Mark Stevens is a 59-year-old longtime venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. Forbes estimates Stevens’ net worth at $US2.3 billion.
Stevens attended the University of Southern California in the 1980s, where he studied engineering and earned both his bachelors and masters degrees. Stevens is still incredibly involved in the school — he sits on USC’s board of trustees, and serves on the board of councilors for USC’s engineering school.
Source: USC News
Stevens and his wife, Mary, have given more than $US100 million to USC. Several facilities on USC’s campus bear the Stevens name because of their contributions: $US22 million for the USC Stevens Center for Innovation; $US10 million for the Stevens Academic Center; and $US50 million for the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute.
While getting his masters in computer engineering, Stevens started working at the now-defunct Hughes Aircraft Company in exchange for tuition. He left the company after less than a year and joined Intel in 1982 to work in technical sales.
Stevens left Intel in 1987, and headed to Harvard University to get his MBA. After getting his degree, he went back to the West Coast and joined the team at Sequoia Capital. The prominent Menlo Park-based firm invests in early-stage companies, and its portfolio includes YouTube, Oracle, Instagram, and Stripe.
Stevens was named a partner at Sequoia in 1993. In his 22 years at the firm, he made big bets in startups that went on to see success and go public, such as Yahoo!, Google, and PayPal.
In 2012, Stevens left Sequoia to found an investment firm called S-Cubed Capital, where he serves as managing partner. S-Cubed has made dozens of investments, including in three companies where Stevens sits on the board: sports software developer Second Spectrum, data center provider Innovium, and chip designer Nvidia.
Source: S-Cubed Capital, PitchBook
Stevens purchased a partial stake in the Golden State Warriors in August 2013, and has since served as a member of the franchise’s executive board.
Stevens has kept a low profile with the Warriors, until this year. Stevens was sitting court-side at Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Warriors and the Toronto Raptors. When Raptors guard Kyle Lowry dove into the stands while chasing a loose ball during the game’s forth quarter, Stevens reached over and shoved him.
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Source: Business Insider
Lowry was visibly upset at the incident, and complained to referees. Stevens reportedly said “go f— yourself” to Lowry several times. Soon after the incident, Stevens was escorted from the arena.
Source: Business Insider
Reaction to Stevens’ actions were swift. Lowry called for the NBA to bar Stevens from future league games for life, while fans demanded Stevens sell his stake in the Warriors. In a statement, the Warriors apologised to Lowry and said Stevens’ behaviour “did not reflect the high standards that we hope to exemplify as an organisation.”
By Wednesday night, the NBA handed down its punishment to Stevens. The venture capitalist was fined $US500,000, and barred from attending NBA games and team activities for one year.
Warriors investor Mark Stevens banned for a year and fined $500K. pic.twitter.com/oAgmogiJHm
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) June 6, 2019
Source: Business Insider
Soon after his punishment was issued, Stevens released a statement apologizing for his actions, which he called a “lapse in judgment.”
“I take full responsibility for my actions last night at the NBA Finals and am embarrassed by what transpired,” Stevens said. “I need to be better and look forward to making it right.”
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