Last night wasn’t pleasant for the Golden State Warriors. Down Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson to injury, even a monster 47 point outing from Stephen Curry wasn’t enough to overcome a deep and well-rounded Raptors team. Taking game three and snatching back homecourt advantage, the Warriors and their fans were rightfully annoyed as Toronto repeatedly snuffed out hope any time the game got close.
However, Warriors’ part-owner Mark Stevens took things too far. When Raptors’ guard Kyle Lowry went crashing into the stands chasing after a ball, Stevens gave him a firm shove as he tried to get back to his feet. This triggered a major backlash throughout the sports media world and even prompted the Lakers’ superstar LeBron James to weigh in on the situation.
LeBron James Weighs in on Warriors’ Part-Owner Shoving Kyle Lowry
James went absolutely IN on Stevens for his actions in the game and brings up a few excellent points. First and foremost, the King called for some serious punishment towards Stevens for his actions – extremely reasonable considering he laid hands on a player. Also, just imagine if Kyle Lowry had decided to retaliate!
Some of the NBA’s heaviest suspensions have come off physical altercations with fans. Most notably, Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, and Jermaine O’Neal received suspensions for the rest of the season, 30 games, and 25 games respectively during the Malice at the Palace. While the situation wasn’t nearly as hostile nor had the capacity to elevate to something like that, it shows the NBA takes matters involving fans and players extremely seriously, even when fans initiate the actual engagement.
(Obligatory video of the Malice at the palace)
A lot of credit should be tossed Lowry’s way here for holding his composure throughout the matter and not taking the bait from a bush-league move by Stevens.
Warriors Release Statement Regarding Mark Stevens Kyle Lowry Shove
ABC – “Mr. Stevens’ behavior last night did not reflect the high standards that we hope to exemplify as an organization. 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. Mr. Stevens will not be in attendance at any of the remaining games of the 2019 NBA Finals. Review of this matter is ongoing.”
While Stevens has already been banned from the rest of the 2019 NBA Finals games, it seems the Warriors may be looking to hand down some heavier punishment to the part-owner.