OAKLAND, CA — One of the minority owners of the Golden State Warriors, Silicon Valley billionaire venture capitalist Mark Stevens, has been banned from attending NBA games through next season and fined $500,000. The NBA and Warriors took action after Stevens shoved Toronto Raptors player Kyle Lowry during game 3 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland Wednesday night. Lowry was not injured.
The player had fallen into the row of seats where Stevens was seated.
Following the announcement of the sanctions against Stevens, he released a statement through the Warriors organization in which he took responsibility for this actions, “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.”
Stevens went on to call his behavior a mistake and a “lapse in judgment” that “does not reflect the person I am or have been throughout my life.” He ended by saying that he accepts the punishment from the Warriors and NBA.
The shove came during a dismal performance by the Warriors, who now trail the Raptors 2-1 in the Finals. Wednesday’s final score was 123 – 109.
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The shove was a huge distraction for the Warriors on Thursday, as they prepared for their next playoff game. Coach Steve Kerr was asked about it, as were Warriors players. Kerr called Stevens’ behavior “unacceptable,” while Steph Curry and Draymond Green both credited Lowry for keeping his cool and not retaliating physically against Stevens.
According to Forbes, Stevens is worth $2.3 billion. He joined Venture Capital firm Sequoia Capital in 1989, and was made a partner four years later. He stayed at Sequoia for more than two decades as the firm invested in Google and LinkedIn. He left Sequoia in 2012 to start his own VC firm.
Forbes reports that Stevens’ new VC firm, S-Cubed, “also manages the family’s philanthropy, with focus areas in education, environment and research universities.” He has signed the Giving Pledge, promising to give more than half of his wealth to charity.
Read more about Mark Stevens in Forbes