Warriors to force co-owner Mark Stevens to sell stake in team after Kyle Lowry shove
Billionaire tech investor and Golden State Warriors part owner Mark Stevens has been slapped with a $500,000 fine and a year-long ban from all NBA activities after pushing Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of The Finals on Wednesday night.
"Stevens' ban is effective immediately and carries through the 2019-20 NBA season, including the postseason," reads a joint statement from the NBA and the Warriors organization issued late Thursday.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver on the decision to fine Warriors minority owner Mark Stevens $500,000 and issue a one-year ban from the NBA for shoving and verbally abusing Raptors guard Kyle Lowry has in Game 3 of The Finals. pic.twitter.com/T8alXKokPT— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) June 7, 2019
The statement contends that Stevens, a minority stake owner in the Warriors, both pushed and directed "obscene language toward" Lowry after the Raptors point guard into the spectator stands while chasing a loose ball.
The NBA AND the Warriors have banned Mark Stevens for 1 year & fined him $500k for shoving Kyle Lowry last night. pic.twitter.com/Csqwi2Lb7Q— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 6, 2019
The courtside altercation made international headlines in the hours following, thanks in large part to comments made by Lowry during his post-Game 3 press conference.
"He reached over & put his hands on me for no reason then he said a couple vulgar words to me & repeated them...hopefully they ban him from all NBA games ever."— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) June 6, 2019
Kyle Lowry on the fan who pushed him after he fell into the crowd
"He had no reason to touch me. He had no reason to reach over two seats and then say some vulgar language to me. There's no place for people like that in our league," said the 7-year Raptors veteran to reporters after helping his team to a 123-109 victory over Golden State.
"Hopefully, he never comes back to an NBA game."
Klay Thompson on Lowry getting shoved last night: "It was unfortunate. it wasn't very cool. I will give him benefit of the doubt... Wasn't like he threw a hard punch, just a forceful shove. He shouldn't have done it and I know he knows that. I think He'll make amends and move on" pic.twitter.com/AM8zmG5yR1— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) June 6, 2019
Fans and experts from around the world — including NBA great and current L.A. Laker LeBron James — similarly decried Stevens' behaviour as video footage of the incident went viral.
🗣There’s absolutely no place in our BEAUTIFUL game for that AT ALL. There’s so many issues here. When you sit courtside you absolutely know what comes with being on the floor and if you don’t know it’s on the back on the ticket itself that states the guidelines. But he himself being a fan but more importantly PART-OWNER of the Warriors knew exactly what he was doing which was so uncalled for. He knew the rules more than just the average person sitting watching the game courtside so for that Something needs to be done ASAP! A swift action for his actions. Just think to yourself, what if @kyle_lowry7 would have reacted and put his hands back on him. You guys would be going CRAZY!! Calling for him to damn near be put in jail let alone being suspended for the rest of the Finals all because he was protected himself. I’ve been quite throughout the whole NBA playoffs watching every game (haven’t missed one) but after I saw what I saw last night, took time to let it manifest into my thinking 🧢 I couldn’t and wouldn’t be quiet on this! #ProtectThePlayers #PrivilegeAintWelcomeHere
"There's absolutely no place in our BEAUTIFUL game for that AT ALL," wrote James on his personal Instagram account Thursday afternoon. "When you sit courtside you absolutely know what comes with being on the floor... [Stevens] himself being a fan but more importantly PART-OWNER of the Warriors knew exactly what he was doing which was so uncalled for."
Both the Warriors organization and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver clearly agreed, hence the ban and hefty fine.
Stevens himself wrote in a statement late Thursday that he "fully accepts" the punishment.
A statement from Mark Stevens: pic.twitter.com/zrfXE6zOPO— Kerith Burke (@KerithBurke) June 7, 2019
NBC News also reports that the Warriors will force Stevens to sell his stake in the team before the start of next season.
🏀 Multiple sources close to the Golden State Warriors tell me Mark Stevens, the minority owner who pushed Kyle Lowry, will likely be forced to sell his shares before the start of next season … #NBAFinals #KyleLowry— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) June 6, 2019
If forced to sell, Stevens is expected to profit handsomely to the tune of $180 million.
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