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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.

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

The social media addiction bubble

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Right now, everyone from Senate leaders to the makers of Netflix's popular "Social Dilemma" is promoting the idea that Facebook is addictive.

Yes, but: Human beings have raised fears about the addictive nature of every new media technology since the 18th century brought us the novel, yet the species has always seemed to recover its balance once the initial infatuation wears off.

Young people's next big COVID test

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Young, healthy people will be at the back of the line for coronavirus vaccines, and they'll have to maintain their sense of urgency as they wait their turn — otherwise, vaccinations won't be as effective in bringing the pandemic to a close.

The big picture: "It’s great young people are anticipating the vaccine," said Jewel Mullen, associate dean for health equity at the University of Texas. But the prospect of that enthusiasm waning is "a cause for concern," she said.

8 hours ago - World

New Zealand authorities charge 13 parties over deadly volcano eruption

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at New Zealand's parliament in Wellington. Photo: Mark Tantrum Photography via Getty Images

New Zealand authorities laid safety violation charges Monday against 10 organizations and three individuals over the fatal Whakaari/White Island volcanic disaster last December, per a statement from the agency WorksSafe.

Details: WorksSafe declined to name those charged as they may seek name suppression in court. But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said government agencies GNS Science, which monitors volcanic activity, and the National Emergency Management Agency were among those charged over the "horrific tragedy" that killed 22 people.

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