Golden State Warriors investor Mark Stevens has been fined $500,000 and banned from NBA games for a year for “pushing and directing obscene language toward” Raptor Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
The NBA and the Golden State Warriors said in a statement on Thursday that Stevens, who owns a minority stake in the team, will not be permitted to attend games through the end of the 2019-20 season.
WATCH: Lowry shares reaction to finding out fan who shoved him was co-owner
Stevens later issued an apology, saying he was “embarrassed by what transpired” at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
“What I did was wrong and there is no excuse for it,” he said, adding that he has attempted to reach out to Lowry and both teams to apologize.
During the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s game, Lowry dove into the crowd to reach for a loose ball. As he was righting himself, a man could be seen on video reaching across an occupied seat to shove Lowry’s shoulder.
(The woman in between Lowry and the fan can be seen patting Lowry’s back.)
Lowry appeared upset by the interaction and exchanged words with the spectator. He reported the incident to officials, the Associated Press reported.
Warriors spokesperson Raymond Ridder told media the fan was ejected from the game and escorted out of the arena at the time. The team later issued an apology to Lowry.
WATCH: Kyle Lowry says Warriors co-owner told him to ‘go blank yourself’
Asked about the incident prior to the NBA’s announcement on Thursday, Lowry told reporters that finding out the spectator was a Warriors investor was “unbelievable.”
At that time, the point guard said he not received an apology from Stevens.
“I don’t know him. I don’t care to know him,” Lowry said. “He showed his true colours at the time.”
WATCH: Warriors react to investor Mark Stevens’ shove on Kyle Lowry
He also said that Stevens should not be part of the league, calling it “not a good look for the ownership group that they have.”
In his statement, Stevens did not address his future with the team but said he fully accepted the punishment.
Stevens is a venture capitalist with S-Cubed Capital and is on Forbes’ billionaires list. He was identified as the fan who pushed Lowry by Axios.
Lowry told reporters after the game on Wednesday that the fan “had no reason to touch me, he had no reason to reach over two seats and then say some vulgar language to me.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he would personally apologize to Lowry and the Raptors over the incident, saying it was “unacceptable.:”
Warriors point guard Stephen Curry praised Lowry for how he handled the situation.
“There’s a lot of different reactions you could have had, but he handled it correctly,” he said.
“I know our team, the organization is addressing the situation, will act accordingly, we don’t want to see that in our game.”
Players and commentators have taken Lowry’s side.
“Like the Utah Jazz fan who got into a verbal altercation with Russell Westbrook, this fan needs to be made an example of. Kick him out of the NBA for life. Let the rest of the fans know this sort of behaviour is completely intolerable,” Brian Giuffra, editor of sports news website The Big League, wrote.
LeBron James wrote on Instagram that “there’s absolutely no place in our BEAUTIFUL game for that AT ALL.”
“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. But he himself being a fan but more importantly PART-OWNER of the Warriors knew exactly what he was doing which was so uncalled for,” James continued.
The incident overshadowed a breakout game for Lowry.
He had 23 points in the game, which bumped Toronto to a 2-1 lead over the defending champions. The final score was 123-109. Lowry also had nine assists and four rebounds.
“He controls a lot of the pace for them,” said Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who had a career playoff-high 47 points.
“He made shots tonight. Tip your cap to him. He was willing to take them. Historically, when he plays well in the playoffs, they usually go.”
Game 4 will take place on Friday, June 7 at 9 p.m.
— with files from the Associated Press