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The NBA has banned Golden State Warriors minority owner Mark Stevens for one year and fined him $500,000 for the incident involving Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
The league and the Warriors announced the ban in a 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 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.”
Stevens, a venture capitalist with an estimated net worth of $2.3 billion, pushed Lowry when he tumbled into courtside seats making a play on a loose ball. Stevens was sitting two seats away from where Lowry fell into the crowd.
The Warriors had previously banned Stevens from the remaining Finals games as the league continued to look into the incident.
“There is no place for such interaction between fans — or anyone — and players at an NBA game,” a team statement read.
Lowry called for Stevens to be banned before he was ID’d
Lowry criticized Stevens after the game for the incident and called for him to be banned.
“There's no place for that,” Lowry told reporters Wednesday. “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.”
Lowry’s reaction came prior to Stevens being identified. Axios identified him Thursday morning as the Warriors part owner.
The Toronto Star confirmed Lowry’s account that Stevens used vulgar language, with a source telling Bruce Arthur that Stevens told him “go f--- yourself” multiple times.
The NBA clarified that the ban was for “pushing and directing obscene language” toward Lowry.
Lowry: ‘Not a good look for ownership’
Lowry spoke again at a Thursday media session after Stevens had been identified and before the NBA had announced his ban.
He confirmed that Stevens repeatedly told him “go f--- yourself” and called for Stevens’ ouster from the league.
“I think more should be done,” Lowry said. “He’s not a good look for ownership. ... He shouldn’t be part of our league.”
Why Lowry reacted how he did
Lowry also cited his children and the basketball situation for not having a stronger reaction to Stevens in the moment.
Reporter: "Can you confirm what the guy said to you, 'to go blank yourself' is that accurate?"
Kyle Lowry: "Yeah. Multiple times." pic.twitter.com/6btM0qs8qw
— ESPN (@espn) June 6, 2019
“Understanding at the moment that my team needed me,” Lowry said when asked about keeping his cool. “Understanding that there are plenty of fans and kids in the world watching this game. And me being a grown man having kids myself.
“Any other situation, if it was, you know, in this situation — things would have probably been handled differently by me.”
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