The Warriors will allow the minority owner who shoved and berated Raptors guard Kyle Lowry in the 2019 NBA Finals to return to his full role after serving a one-year suspension and paying a $500,000 fine.
Mark Stevens went after Lowry in Game 3 of the series after Lowry tumbled into the Oracle Arena crowd pursuing a loose ball. Stevens owns about 2 to 10 percent of the team, according to The Athletic.
The incident led to calls for Stevens to be forced out of his role and prompted sharp criticism from around the NBA. Lowry said he was in favor of a ban.
“A guy like that, showing his true class, he shouldn’t be a part of our league,” Lowry told reporters. “There’s just no place for that.”
LeBron James on Instagram wrote there was “absolutely no place in our BEAUTIFUL game for that AT ALL.” Even Warriors players were unflinching in their assessments of Stevens.
“In a situation where (players) are essentially helpless, you’re always going to be vulnerable,” Draymond Green said. “Definitely not something you want out of someone in the ownership group.”
Stevens apologized through a statement shortly after Game 3, writing, “the behavior I demonstrated last night does not reflect the person I am or have been throughout my life.”
Golden State has apparently taken his word for it and not considered his actions disqualifying for a key organizational figure.
Stevens won’t be allowed at Chase Center if the 2019-20 season resumes, as his suspension applies through the completion of the campaign, but he will be permitted to return for the 2020-21 season.