The NBA fined Golden State Warriors’ minority team owner Mark Stevens $500,000 and suspended him from games and team activities for one year after he shoved Toronto Raptors’ point guard Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of the Finals Wednesday.
Stevens initiated the shove after Lowry dove into the ritzy courtside seats going after a loose ball, with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena.
As Lowry appeared to be extracting himself from a tangle of fans, Stevens leaned to his left across an empty seat and shoved the talented point guard in the shoulder.
The shove — which is being widely discussed by fans, players, coaches, NBA officials and an uncountable horde of professional and armchair commentators — was accompanied by a brief expletive-laden tirade that left Lowry shaking his head and complaining to an official.
Stevens was then kicked out of the game, which ended with 123-109 Warriors loss.
On Thursday, the NBA announced Stevens’ fine and suspension and Commissioner Adam Silver, reacting to calls for a lifetime ban and an even larger fine, said Friday that the punishment was “appropriate.” Stevens was contrite and “extraordinarily apologetic” and had no prior run-ins with the NBA or the Warriors organization, so Silver said:
“[A] one-year ban seemed appropriate.”
Stevens issued an apology though the Warriors Thursday that read, in part:
“I take full responsibility for my actions last night at the NBA Finals and am embarrassed by what transpired… 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.”
In a televised press conference on Thursday, Lowry called for Stevens to be removed from any involvement with the league.
“He’s not a good look for the ownership group that they have,” Lowry said. “He shouldn’t be a part of our league, there’s just no room for that.”
“I was furious,” Lowery said. “I’m not gonna lie.”