LeBron James: Punishment not severe enough for Warriors owner Mark Stevens, who pushed Kyle Lowry

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Warriors minority owner Mark Stevens will miss the rest of the NBA Finals after pushing Raptors star Kyle Lowry.

The NBA is still investigating, leaving the door open for further punishment.

As I’ve written before, the league’s handling of owner misconduct depends greatly on player and and public response. Stevens will get penalized only as much as the NBA’s business partners, including players, want him to be.

And the league’s most-powerful player – LeBron James – is calling for additional penalties.

LeBron:

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🗣There’s absolutely no place in our BEAUTIFUL game for that AT ALL. There’s so many issues here. When you sit courtside you absolutely know what comes with being on the floor and if you don’t know it’s on the back on the ticket itself that states the guidelines. But he himself being a fan but more importantly PART-OWNER of the Warriors knew exactly what he was doing which was so uncalled for. He knew the rules more than just the average person sitting watching the game courtside so for that Something needs to be done ASAP! A swift action for his actions. Just think to yourself, what if @kyle_lowry7 would have reacted and put his hands back on him. You guys would be going CRAZY!! Calling for him to damn near be put in jail let alone being suspended for the rest of the Finals all because he was protected himself. I’ve been quite throughout the whole NBA playoffs watching every game (haven’t missed one) but after I saw what I saw last night, took time to let it manifest into my thinking 🧢 I couldn’t and wouldn’t be quiet on this! #ProtectThePlayers #PrivilegeAintWelcomeHere

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Stevens’ push was completely unacceptable, especially for someone with his title. Lowry landed a couple seats away while diving into the stands for a loose ball. Stevens tried to take advantage of the chaos by taking a cheap shot on Lowry.

But determining the appropriate punishment is more complex. I don’t have a good answer.

Stevens should face significant consequences. He should also have an opportunity to learn from his transgression and behave better in the future. The onus should also be on him to prove his personal growth before being allowed back to games.

The big question is his ownership stake. Will Golden State and the league allow him to keep it? That’s where pressure from players like LeBron could make a huge difference.