The Golden State Warriors fan who pushed Raptor Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of the NBA Finals was identified by Axios as Mark Stevens, who owns a minority stake in the team, and he’s now facing major repercussions for his actions.
Warriors officials confirmed to a reporter for The Athletic that Stevens was the man who shoved Lowry. The Warriors told reporter Shams Charania that Stevens will not attend any remaining NBA Finals games, and on Thursday the team issued a statement declaring Stevens has been banned for attending any games for a full year, and will also be fined $500,000.
“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,” reads a joint statement from the NBA and the Warriors. “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.”
In a previous statement, Warriors officials said they were “extremely disappointed in his actions” and apologized to Lowry.
Stevens is a venture capitalist with S-Cubed Capital and on Forbes’ billionaires list.
Lowry had dived into the crowd to reach for a loose ball during the fourth quarter. As he was righting himself, the man can be seen on video reaching across an occupied seat to shove Lowry’s shoulder.
(The woman in between Lowry and the fan can be seen patting Lowry’s back.)
Lowry appeared upset by the interaction and exchanged words with the spectator. He reported the incident to officials, the Associated Press reported.
WATCH: Kyle Lowry reacts to fan’s shove in Game 3, says ‘there’s no place for that’View link »
Asked about the incident after the game, the point guard said there was “no place for that” in the NBA.
“As for that fan, there’s no place for that,” Lowry told reporters. “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. And hopefully, he never comes back to an NBA game.”
Warriors’ spokesperson Raymond Ridder told media Stevens was ejected from the game and escorted out of the arena at the time.
Players and commentators have also taken Lowry’s side.
“Like the Utah Jazz fan who got into a verbal altercation with Russell Westbrook, this fan needs to be made an example of. Kick him out of the NBA for life. Let the rest of the fans know this sort of behavior is completely intolerable,” Brian Giuffra, editor of sports news website The Big League, wrote.
LeBron James wrote on Instagram that “There’s absolutely no place in our BEAUTIFUL game for that AT ALL.”
“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,” James continued.
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🗣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
The incident overshadowed a breakout game for Lowry. He had 23 points in the game, which bumped Toronto to a 2-1 lead over the defending champions. The final score was 123-109. Lowry also had nine assists and four rebounds.View link »
“He controls a lot of the pace for them,” said Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who had a career playoff-high 47 points. “He made shots tonight. Tip your cap to him. He was willing to take them. Historically when he plays well in the playoffs, they usually go.”
Game 4 will take place on Friday, June 7 at 9 p.m.
— with files from the Associated Press