The NBA and the Golden State Warriors have banned Mark Stevens, a part-owner of the team, for one year and fined him $500,000 in the wake of the NBA Finals Game 3 incident in which the billionaire investor shoved Kyle Lowry after the Toronto Raptors guard crashed into the courtside seats.
Here's the official joint statement:
"The NBA and the Golden State Warriors today announced that Warriors investor Mark Stevens has been banned from attending NBA games and Warriors team activities for one year and has been fined $500,000 for pushing and directing obscene language toward the Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of The Finals last night. The incident occurred with 10:37 remaining in the fourth quarter when Lowry dived into the spectator stands while chasing a loose ball.
Stevens’ ban is effective immediately and carries through the 2019-20 NBA season, including the postseason."
Stevens issued a statement, via the team, late Thursday afternoon: "I take full responsibility for my actions last night at the NBA Finals and am embarrassed by what transpired. 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. I need to be better and look forward to making it right.
I fully accept the punishment administered by the NBA and the Warriors."
The NBA acted swiftly following an investigation.
Earlier in the day, the Warriors had issued their own statement, making it clear that Stevens, who is worth about $2.3 billion, per Forbes, would not be at Oracle Arena for the remainder of the NBA Finals.
Here’s a clip of the incident, which resulted in a Warriors security guard escorting Stevens off the floor.
Lowry was noticeably frustrated by the incident in the immediate aftermath and at the postgame podium.
After practice Thursday afternoon, Lowry suggested Stevens should be removed from the club's ownership group.
LeBron James, erstwhile Warriors rival, sounded off on the situation, via his Instagram account.
Per ESPN's Rachel Nichols, LeBron was not the only NBAer who was calling for action.
By Karl Buscheck