Golden State Warriors minority owner Mark Stevens, who shoved Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of the NBA Finals last season, will return to his full and active status with the team next year, according to The Athletic.
Stevens, during the fourth quarter of Game 3 at Oracle Arena last June, pushed Lowry after he fell into courtside seats while making a play for the ball. Stevens was seated two seats away from the fans that Lowry crashed into, and went out of his way to shove him. He allegedly told Lowry to “go f--k yourself” multiple times, too.
Stevens issued an apology the following day. He has attempted multiple times to contact Lowry and apologize, per The Athletic, though hasn’t heard back.
While there were some reports that he’d be bought out, Stevens was reportedly “never in line to be kicked out of the ownership group” over the incident.
“I take full responsibility for my actions last night at the NBA Finals and am embarrassed by what transpired,” Stevens said in his apology. “What I did was wrong and there is no excuse for it. Mr. Lowry deserves better, and I have reached out today in an attempt to directly apologize to him and other members of the Raptors and Warriors organizations. I’m grateful to those who accepted my calls. I hope that Mr. Lowry and others impacted by this lapse in judgment understand that the behavior I demonstrated last night does not reflect the person I am or have been throughout my life. 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.”
Stevens was eventually banned for one year and fined $500,000, something NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he thought was appropriate.
“It’s not a science in terms of making these decisions,” Silver said. “I think ultimately we felt that given how contrite Mr. Stevens was, the fact that he was extraordinarily apologetic, the fact that he had no blemishes on his prior involvement with the NBA or the Warriors, that a one-year ban seemed appropriate together with the fine.”
Stevens owns a small stake in the team, per the report, somewhere between 2 and 10 percent. He will resume his position with the team’s executive board whenever the current season is officially over. The NBA, which suspended operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March, still has no set plans to finish the rest of the season.
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