In Game 3 of the 2019 NBA Finals, a fan pushed Kyle Lowry after he chased a loose ball into the stands. What makes this a big deal is who that person is.
The Toronto Raptors were polishing up a Game 3 win in the 2019 NBA Finals last night, and Kyle Lowry had a well-rounded game with 23 points, four rebounds, nine assists, a steal, and a block in 43 minutes of work. Late in the game, he chased a loose ball into the stands and inadvertently crashed into a fan in the front row. Another spectator to the right then tried to shove Lowry off of the other fan.
You can check it out below.
It’s a light shove, and normally this wouldn’t be that huge of a problem. The bigger issue here is that the fan who shoved Lowry is a part owner of the Golden State Warriors.
According to Axios, his name is Mark Stevens, and he is a venture capitalist and part owner of the defending champs.
“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.”
You would think that the Warriors are in for a hefty fine from the NBA, and you would expect that the organization would make Stevens pick up the bill. At the very least, he should have to offer a public apology. It’s not in the place of any fan to push a player aggressively under any circumstances, and especially when they are the owner of the other team. We could safely call that a conflict of interest.
Fans interacting with players has always been a complicated topic for the NBA, because it is part of what makes the league so great. There is no sport like it where the audience is literally on the same floor as the performers and gets to feel the hardwood pound and hear what the players say to each other and the fans. However, it becomes a problem of public safety and player safety when incidents like this and “The Malice at the Palace” happen.
Stevens became a part owner in 2013, and it would shock me if he isn’t banned from the rest of the games in these NBA Finals.