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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

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Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
11 hours ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania. 

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