That might not be the only consequence.
Dylan Byers of NBC:
🏀 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
Maybe this will go as easily as this report indicates. Maybe it won’t.
I’m not privy to Stevens’ agreement with Golden State. So, I can’t say whether or not the Warriors’ other owners, including Peter Guber and Joe Lacob, can force him to sell.
The NBA constitution provides a framework for removing an owner, as we saw most famously with the Donald Sterling saga. Three-quarters of the Board of Governors can vote out an owner.
Did Stevens “Willfully violate any of the provisions of the Constitution and By-Laws, resolutions, or agreements of the Association” – a cause for dismissal? One clause in the NBA’s constitution: “The Commissioner shall have the power to suspend for a definite or indefinite period, or to impose a fine not exceeding $1,000,000, or inflict both such suspension and fine upon any person who, in his opinion, shall have been guilty of conduct prejudicial or detrimental to the Association.”
Stevens’ actions appear detrimental to the league. But proving that could depend on the level of outrage from players, sponsors and fans. The NBA is reactionary on these things.
The constitution also lists specific punishments – suspension and fine – for owners who commit detrimental conduct. Can the league also remove an owner on those grounds? Especially in this case, what would spark further penalty for Stevens after the NBA announced his punishment? Shelly Sterling was prepared to contest the NBA’s implementation of its own procedures, though it never came to that. Stevens could, too.
The NBA has laid out a path for Stevens to remain minority owner – paying a $500,000 fine and serving a one-year suspension. But maybe there are other forces in motion to oust him. Ultimately, it’ll be up to him how easy that goes.