A part-owner for the Golden State Warriors who shoved Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry during an NBA Finals game Wednesday night has been banned from the arena for a year and hit with a significant fine, according to CBS Sports.
Warriors minority owner Mark Stevens shoved and allegedly cursed at Lowry when the player crashed into nearby seats while trying to prevent the ball from going out of bounds. He was banned from attending games and team activities for a year and fined $500,000.
“Mr. Stevens’ behavior last night did not reflect the high standards that we hope to exemplify as an organization,” the Warriors said in a statement. “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.”
GOTTA SEE IT: Fan Gets Ejected For Shoving Kyle Lowry In Game 3 Of NBA Finals
What did Lowry have to say about it? “There’s no place for that,” Lowry said after the game. He had no reason to touch me, or reach over two seats to say some vulgar language to me. Hopefully he never comes back to an NBA game.”
What about Stevens? “I fully take responsibility for my actions last night at the NBA Finals and am embarrassed by what happened,” the part-owner Stevens said in a statement. “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.”
Why this is a sensitive issue: The NBA is forced to take any confrontations between fans and players extremely seriously, always remembering the time when one fan’s mistreatment of a player led to an all-out arena brawl known as the “Malice at the Palace.”
During a 2004 game in Detroit between the Pistons and the Indiana Pacers, Pacers player Ron Artest was laying on the scorer’s table to get away from an altercation with another player. A fan tossed a drink at him from the stands, sending Artest and other players into the stands in retaliation, leading to one of the ugliest scenes in NBA history.
Throwback: Pacers vs Pistons Brawl – Full (2004)