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Warriors part-owner banned by NBA for shoving Lowry in finals

June 07, 2019 - Friday 6:06 AM by AFP

Golden State Warriors part-owner Mark Stevens was banned from games by the NBA on Thursday after shoving Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry during game three of the NBA Finals, a move the league called "beyond unacceptable."

Stevens and the Warriors apologized for the actions of Stevens, a Silicon Valley tech investor who shoved Lowry from an adjacent courtside seat on Wednesday after Lowry dove into the seats chasing a loose ball.

Lowry, who scored 23 points in Toronto's 123-109 victory to seize a 2-1 series lead, complained to the referee about Stevens, who was ejected after the fourth-quarter shove, and said following the game whoever shoved and cursed him shouldn't be allowed back into an NBA game.

"There's no place for that. He had no reason to touch me," Lowry said. "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."

NBA executive vice president for communications Mike Bass issued a statement for the league Thursday condemning Stevens.

"A team representative must be held to the highest possible standard and the conduct of Golden State Warriors investor Mark Stevens last night was beyond unacceptable and has no place in our league," the statement said.

"As the review of this matter continues, Mr. Stevens will not be permitted to attend NBA games."

In an earlier statement, the Warriors confirmed reports identifying Stevens as the shoving spectator and said he would be prohibited from attending all remaining NBA Finals games.

"Mr. Stevens' behavior last night did not reflect the high standards that we hope to exemplify as an organization," the Warriors' statement said.

"We're extremely disappointed in his actions and, along with Mr. Stevens, offer our sincere apology to Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors organization for this unfortunate misconduct.

"There is no place for such interaction between fans, or anyone, and players at an NBA game."

There is an ongoing investigation of the incident, according to the team.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who played against Golden State for Cleveland in the past four NBA Finals, tweeted that the Warriors' response was insufficent after seeing their statement.

"Ok cool but still ain't enough!" James tweeted. "They did exactly what they had to do. Get in front of it before anyone else and plus there's only 4 games left(2 max in GS)."

Stevens, a hi-tech venture capitalist, bought into the Warriors in 2013, purchasing the stake in the team that had belonged to Vivek Ranadive.

Ranadive had to sell the shares he had originally bought in 2010 that made him the first Indian-heritage NBA investor so he could purchase the rival Sacramento Kings.

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