OAKLAND, Calif. — NBA commissioner Adam Silver called the one-year ban and $500,000 fine for a Golden State part-owner "appropriate."
Mark Stevens was at the center of a play in which he shoved Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry and uttered profanities at him during the fourth quarter of Toronto’s Game 3 victory on Wednesday.
"There’s not some rulebook I can look to here for what precisely to do," Silver told a small group of reporters Thursday afternoon at an NBA Cares event where a youth community center was refurbished. "I try to balance all the different factors here, and once again, I think this was a fair outcome and I will say we did take into account how contrite Mr. Stevens was."
Silver said the league and the Warriors began investigating the incident "immediately after it happened at the game."
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver explains why Warriors investor Mark Stevens was given a one-year ban instead of a life-time ban pic.twitter.com/54dxMMObCc
Stevens addressed the incident in a statement Thursday night.
"I take full responsibility for my actions last night at the NBA Finals and am embarrassed by what transpired," Stevens said. "What I did was wrong and there is no excuse for it. Mr. Lowry deserves better, and I have reached out today in an attempt to directly apologize to him and other members of the Raptors and Warriors organizations. … I made a mistake and I’m truly sorry. I need to be better and look forward to making it right.
"I fully accept the punishment administered by the NBA and the Warriors."
A statement from Mark Stevens: pic.twitter.com/zrfXE6zOPO
Silver did not think a lifetime ban was required nor he did he feel it was necessary to force Stevens to divest his shares of the Warriors.
"We felt that given how contrite Mr. Stevens was — he was extraordinarily apologetic — (and) the fact that he had no blemishes on his prior involvement with the NBA or the Warriors, a one-year ban seemed appropriate."
Lowry told reporters on Wednesday that Stevens said, "Go (expletive) yourself" multiple times. Silver said Stevens was forthcoming during an interview with league security.
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"I know he acknowledged using inappropriate language," Silver said. "I don’t know if it matched word for word with what Kyle said. There was no dispute over the facts. Even beginning last night, he was very forthcoming and said, 'What I did was 100% wrong.' There was no attempt on his part to suggest that words weren’t attributed to him. In words and his deeds last night, there was never a dispute as to what happened.
"Ultimately here, there’s no question that Mr. Stevens made a terrible mistake. And from my standpoint, he’s paying an enormous price for it — not just in terms of the discipline, the ban and the fine — but reputation ally in his community as well. My sense is he really understands that and has taken in to heart."
Follow Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt.
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