A few minutes into the fourth quarter, the point guard chased a loose ball as it was heading out of bounds. After a failed attempt at keeping the ball in play, he crashed into the fans who were sitting courtside. One man, in particular, took it upon himself to shove Lowry, which prompted the latter to address him.
As it turns out, the fan has been identified as Mark Stevens, who is a venture capitalist and part owner of the Warriors, according to Axios. Stevens joined the Warriors ownership team in 2013.
“Mark will prove to be a tremendous asset to our organization as we strive to become one of the model franchises in professional sports,” Warriors executive chairman Peter Guber said in 2013. “We’ve managed to build a strong and well-rounded ownership group in which each individual contributes to our success, and Mark is no exception. He’s an ideal fit.”
ESPN reports, though Stevens was ejected and escorted out of the building following the incident, Lowry hopes the league has a long-term punishment in order. "There’s no place for that," he said in a post-game interview. "He had no reason to touch me. 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. Hopefully he never comes back to an NBA game."
Richard Jefferson shared a similar sentiment on ESPN's Get Up. "That man's push could've affected the outcome of the NBA Finals," notes Jefferson. He later goes on to say, "If you have suspensions during the NBA Finals because a fan that was sitting in the front row decides to just push a player for no reason, that's why the person has to be gone forever."
It is being reported that Stevens will not attend remaining NBA Finals games after Game 3.
The man who shoved Kyle Lowry hard in the shoulder after Lowry fell into the stands last night? Mark Stevens, one of the Warriors’ minority owners. Here’s Golden State’s statement on the incident - the team says Stevens won’t be at any more Finals games this year. pic.twitter.com/eUHNKn3Yp7— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 6, 2019
The Warriors say minority investor Mark Stevens will not attend remaining NBA Finals games after shove on Kyle Lowry in Game 3 Wednesday night.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 6, 2019
LeBron James was outraged after seeing the footage, demanding that more should be done to protect the players.
Ok cool but still ain’t enough! 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).— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 6, 2019
Stevens issued an apology, and it's also been reported that he will make a donation to Lowry's Lowry Love Foundation.
"I take full responsibility for my actions last night at the NBA Finals and am embarrassed by what transpired," Stevens wrote 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. I hope that Mr. Lowry and others impacted by this lapse in judgement 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."
The word I'm getting: Warriors part-owner Mark Stevens, who shoved Kyle Lowry last night, will be making a public apology and providing a donation to Kyle's "Lowry Love Foundation."— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) June 6, 2019
But, that said, Stevens has yet to reach out to Lowry in the aftermath of the incident.
As far as Stevens' punishment, the NBA has banned him from attending games for a year effective immediately, as well as fined him $500,000.
Aside from this, Lowry had a pretty impressive game, as he ended with 23 points, 9 assists, and 4 blocks.
During Thursday's game 4 preview presser, Warriors coach Steve Kerr admitted to not seeing the video, but apologized to Lowry. “I will also personally apologize to Kyle and the Raptors. That was unacceptable,” Kerr said.
Steph Curry also appeared at the podium on Thursday and credited Lowry for the way he handled the situation. When asked if he knows Stevens personally, Curry said he does not.
Draymond Green was also asked about Lowry when it was his turn at the podium. “If Kyle was then to hit back, a lot more than a fine would have happened to Kyle...For him to handle it the way he did says a lot about his character, a lot about him as a man and the way he handles himself," he said.
Kawhi Leonard meanwhile, talked about how the league needs to do a better job dealing with entitled fans.
Finally, Lowry said that Stevens "shouldn't be a part of our league." He also credited his role as a parent for helping him handle the situation like a professional.
He went on to confirm that Stevens told him to "go f*ck himself."
Historically, many players have been involved in spats with excessively passionate, sometimes rude attendees. A few months back, Russell Westbrook (who has seen his share of fan altercations) commented on this, saying, "There’s too much leeway for all the fans to touch the players and get away with it. We can’t react and do the things that we need to do to protect ourselves."