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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

41 mins ago - World

Scottish first minister vows independence referendum after election win

Scotland's First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon, reacts after being declared the winner of the Glasgow Southside seat at Glasgow counting centre in the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on Friday. Photo: Andy Buchanan /AFP via Getty Images

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans Saturday for a second independence referendum once the pandemic has abated following the country's parliamentary elections.

The big picture: Sturgeon's Scottish National Party won 64 seats, one seat short of an outright majority in the 129-seat Parliament. But most seats went to pro-independence parties.

3 hours ago - World

India records its deadliest day of the pandemic

A health worker moving an oxygen cylinder in a coronavirus ward of a hospital in New Delhi on May 8. Photo: Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India saw its deadliest day of the pandemic yet with more than 4,180 confirmed COVID-19 deaths reported Saturday.

Why it matters: The country has recorded more than 21.8 million coronavirus cases and 238,270 deaths since the pandemic began. The true numbers, however, are likely much higher, experts say, as the country battles a continued surge in cases that has left hospitals and health workers overwhelmed.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: The end of quarantine — CDC updates guidance on airborne COVID-19.
  2. Politics: Oklahoma secures $2.6 million refund for hydroxychloroquine purchase — Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations.
  5. World: Asia faces massive new COVID surgeIndia records its deadliest day of the pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

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