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Kyle Lowry responds after being shoved by a fan identified as Mark Stevens at last night’s NBA Finals game. Photo of Stevens via S-Cubed Capital website; Game photo: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The person who pushed Toronto Raptors player Kyle Lowry at last night's NBA Finals game was not just any fan, but venture capitalist — and part Warriors owner — Mark Stevens, multiple sources confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: The fact it wasn't just a fan but someone tied to the Warriors significantly ups the stakes.

"The fans have a place; we love our fans," Lowry told ESPN. "But fans like that shouldn't be allowed to be in there, because it's not right. I can't do nothing to protect myself."

Sources say the league and team are investigating. Stevens, as well as NBA and Warriors representatives were not immediately available for comment.

  • Stevens joined the Warriors ownership team in 2013, when Vivek Ranadivé bought a stake in the Sacramento Kings and was forced to divest his share of the Warriors.
  • "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 at the time. "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."
  • Stevens was a partner with legendary VC investor Sequoia Capital until 2012 and now is managing partner of his family office, called S-Cubed Capital. He also serves as a director on the boards of such public companies as Nvidia. (Nvidia declined to comment on his actions.)

Update: The Warriors have confirmed that Stevens was the person involved and issued a statement.

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.
— Warriors statement

And the NBA later clarified it is investigating and that Stevens is not allowed at NBA games until that review is completed.

“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. As the review of this matter continues, Mr. Stevens will not be permitted to attend NBA games.”
— NBA Statement

Lakers star LeBron James called for stronger action in a tweet, agreeing in a separate tweet that Lowry would be arrested if he went into Stevens workplace and shoved him.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper: NBA Finals debut new tech experiments to keep fans engaged

For a daily analysis of the world of sports, sign up for our Axios Sports newsletter. Meanwhile, if you want more scoops from Axios chief technology correspondent Ina Fried, sign up for her tech newsletter Login.

Go deeper

Group of 20 bipartisan senators back $1.2T infrastructure framework

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) arrives for a meeting with Senate Budget Committee Democrats in the Mansfield Room at the U.S. Capitol building on June 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Majority Leader and Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee are meeting to discuss how to move forward with the Biden Administrations budget proposal. Photo: Samuel Corum / Getty Images

A group of 10 Democratic and 10 Republican senators (the "G20") tasked with negotiating an infrastructure deal with the White House has released a statement in support of a $1.2 trillion framework.

Why it matters: Details regarding the plan have not yet been released, but getting 10 Republicans on board means the bill could get the necessary 60 votes to pass.

DOJ drops criminal probe, civil lawsuit against John Bolton over Trump book

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The Justice Department has closed its criminal investigation into whether President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton disclosed classified information with his tell-all memoir, “The Room Where it Happened," according to a source with direct knowledge.

Why it matters: The move comes a year after the Trump administration tried to silence Bolton by suing him in federal court, claiming he breached his contract by failing to complete a pre-publication review for classified information. Prosecutors indicated they had reached a settlement with Bolton to drop the lawsuit in a filing on Wednesday.

Fed may raise rates sooner, as inflation is higher than expected

Feb chair Jerome Powell. Photo: Susan Walsh/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve kept rates unchanged at its latest policy meeting, but a shift in sentiment emerged as to how soon it should begin raising rates.

Why it matters: The Fed's rock-bottom rates policy and monthly asset purchases helped the U.S. markets avoid a meltdown during the COVID-19 crisis last year. But as the economy recovers, a chorus is growing for the Fed to at least consider a timeline for pulling back its support before things get overheated.

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