OAKLAND, USA – NBA commissioner Adam Silver says a one-year ban and $500,000 fine for the Golden State Warriors part-owner who shoved Toronto's Kyle Lowry during an NBA Finals game was an appropriate punishment.
The league and the Warriors imposed the punishments upon Mark Stevens for shoving and cursing at Lowry from a courtside seat in Game 3 of the championship series Thursday, June 6, after the Raptors star dove into the seating area for a loose ball. (WATCH: Lowry gets shoved by fan, pushes Raptors to Game 3 win)
Stevens will be banned from all NBA games and not be allowed to take part in team activities through the 2019-20 playoffs as a result of his actions. (READ: Warriors part-owner banned a year, fined $500,000 for shove)
Stevens released a statement with a personal apology to Lowry after the team had included one in a statement.
"I take full responsibility for my actions at the NBA Finals and am embarrassed by what transpired," Stevens said. "What I did was wrong and there is no excuse for it."
"I hope that Mr. Lowry and others impacted by this lapse in judgment understand that the behavior I demonstrated last night does not reflect the person I am or have been throughout my life.
"I made a mistake and I'm truly sorry. I need to be better and look forward to making it right."
Earlier, Lowry said Stevens should no longer be part of the league and others wondered why Stevens did not receive a life ban, as other clubs imposed upon fans who screamed obscene remarks at players this season. (READ: Lowry praised for calm after shove by Warriors investor)
"I try to balance all the different factors here and I think this was a fair outcome," Silver said.
"We recognize it's not a science in terms of making these decisions. Ultimately we felt how contrite Mr Stevens was and he was extraordinarily apologetic. The fact that he had no blemishes on his prior involvement with the NBA or the Warriors, a one-year ban seemed appropriate."
Silver said the league interviewed Stevens, reviewed video of the incident, spoke with league and Warriors security officials and talked to Lowry and other players as well as the Warriors.
"I'd like to think that whether an issue involves a team investor or a player that everyone is afforded due process and that we don't necessarily respond to immediate sentiment for the most dramatic thing we can do," Silver said.
"Ultimately, there is no question that Mr Stevens made a mistake. From my standpoint, he's paying an enormous price for it, not just in terms of the discipline and the ban, but his reputation in his community as well." – Rappler.com