lowry pushed

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.

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 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 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."

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

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"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.

NBC News also reports that the Warriors will force Stevens to sell his stake in the team before the start of next season.

If forced to sell, Stevens is expected to profit handsomely to the tune of $180 million.

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ESPN


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