- The fan who shoved Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of the NBA Finals was reported by Axios to be Mark Stevens, a billionaire venture capitalist who’s also a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors.
- Before his identity had been reported, Lowry had called for the fan to be barred from ever attending an NBA game again.
- The Warriors and NBA have since released a joint statement announcing that Stevens had been banned from NBA games and team activities for one year and fined $US500,000. Read more here.
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Game 3 of the NBA Finals was forced to pause early in the fourth quarter on Wednesday night after a fan sitting courtside shoved Kyle Lowry, who had leaped into the crowd to chase after a loose ball.
Lowry appealed to the referees, and the fan was eventually escorted away from his seats.
On Thursday, Axios reported the fan who shoved Lowry wasn’t just any fan sitting courtside but that he was Mark Stevens – a billionaire venture capitalist who also owns a minority stake in the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors later confirmed his identity.
You can see the scene that took place on Wednesday night below.
After the game, Lowry called for the man who shoved him to be barred for life.
“There’s no place for that. He had no reason to touch me,”Lowry told reporters. “He had no reason to reach over two seats and then say some vulgar language to me … Hopefully, he never comes back to an NBA game.”
According to Bruce Arthur at the Toronto Star, one source said Stevens repeatedly said to Lowry, “Go f— yourself.”
Just an hour after Axios’ story was published, the Warriors announced in a statement that Stevens would not be attending any more games through the NBA Finals:
Mr. Stevens’ behaviour last night did not reflect the high standards that we hope to exemplify as an organisation. We’re extremely disappointed in his actions and, along with Mr. Stevens, offer our sincere apology to Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors organisation 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 league also admonished Stevens’ actions in a statement:
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. As the review of this matter continues, Mr. Stevens will not be permitted to attend NBA games.
According to NBC News media reporter Dylan Byers, people inside the Warriors organisation believe he will be forced to sell his stake before the start of the next NBA season.
Game 4 of the NBA Finals is set for Friday in Golden State, with Toronto currently holding a 2-1 lead and looking to win their first championship in franchise history.
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