Atherton resident and Golden State Warriors minority investor Mark Stevens has been fined $500,000 and barred from attending NBA games and Warriors team activities for one year after pushing a Toronto Raptors player and "directing obscene language" toward him during Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night (June 5), according to a statement released Thursday.
Stevens, who is the managing partner of S-Cubed Capital, an investment holding company in Menlo Park, was sitting courtside at the game at Oracle Arena in Oakland when, during the fourth quarter, Raptors player Kyle Lowry landed near him in the seats after attempting to keep a ball from going out of bounds.
Stevens could be seen shoving Lowry's left shoulder and was also "directing obscene language" toward Lowry before the player got up, according to a joint statement from the NBA and Warriors. Stevens was ejected from the game after the incident.
Stevens' ban is effective immediately.
In a statement issued Thursday, Mike Bass, the NBA's executive vice president for communications, said: "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."
Asked about the incident after the game, Lowry said in an ESPN interview: "He reached over and put his hands on me for no reason, then he said ... some vulgar words to me repeatedly. In our league, there's no place for that and honestly I hope he's never allowed to come to an NBA game."
The moment went viral on Thursday amid calls for further repercussions after Axios first revealed Stevens' identity. Some NBA fans on social media have argued that Stevens should be forced to sell his ownership stake in the Warriors.
NBA superstar LeBron James said in an Instagram post Thursday that as a minority owner, Stevens "knew exactly what he was doing which was so uncalled for."
"When you sit courtside you absolutely know what comes with being on the floor and if you don’t know it’s on the back on the ticket itself that states the guidelines," James wrote.
In a statement released late Thursday afternoon, Stevens said he took full responsibility for the incident and is "embarrassed by what transpired."
"What I did was wrong and there is no excuse for it," Stevens said. "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 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."
Stevens has served as a trustee at Menlo School in Atherton (though he is not listed as a current board member) and sits on the board of directors for Nvidia, Quantenna, Innovium and Second Spectrum, according to a profile on the S-Cubed Capital website. The website lists him as a special limited partner and former managing partner at Sequoia Capital, a Menlo Park-based venture capital firm.
In 2015 he and his wife Mary donated $50 million to the University of Southern California for a brain research program as part of a pledge to give away at least half of their wealth.