Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is unhappy with the shove Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry received from Golden State Warriors part-owner Mark Stevens during Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night.
Lowry dove to stop a ball from going out of bounds and crashed into the front two rows of the courtside seats.
He landed on a fan, and another spectator, who turned out be Stevens, shoved the player’s left shoulder.
As a result of the incident, Stevens was ejected from the game, even though his Warriors were the home team.
On Thursday, James decided to get involved, opting to voice his opinion on the incident via Instagram.
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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
“There’s absolutely no place in our BEAUTIFUL game for that AT ALL,” James wrote in a post. “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.”
James noted that Stevens should know the rules about fan conduct and said, “Something needs to be done ASAP!” about the incident.
“I couldn’t and wouldn’t be quiet on this!’ he wrote.
The Lakers star ended his rant with the hashtags, “#ProtectThePlayers” and “#PrivilegeAintWelcomeHere.”
And responding to news that the Stevens would not be allowed to attend any more NBA Finals games this year, James tweeted, “Ok cool but still ain’t enough! They did exactly what they had to do. Get in front of it before anyone else and plus there’s only 4 games left(2 max in GS).”
Ok cool but still ain’t enough! They did exactly what they had to do. Get in front of it before anyone else and plus there’s only 4 games left(2 max in GS).
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 6, 2019
Now, James does have a point in noting that Stevens’ behavior was unacceptable.
That being said, the Warriors have already taken action, and it’s not really clear what more he wants them to do.
Would the NBA be justified if it chose to punish Stevens? Maybe. Indeed, following initial publication of this story, The New York Times reported the NBA would be fining Stevens $500,000 and prohibiting him “from attending games and team activities for one year.”
And if the Raptors want to ban Stevens from their venue for life, they certainly have that right.
However, James’ lengthy Instagram post seems to be an overreaction to an incident where no one got hurt.
James is acting like Lowry got punched in the face or was otherwise physically assaulted.
In reality, it was nothing more than a quick shove.
Sure, Stevens probably deserved some form of punishment, but all of this outrage from James seems over the top, especially when you consider he wasn’t even involved in the play.
James is no stranger to controversy. In fact, he’s become something of a political activist in recent years.
The Raptors, meanwhile, currently have a 2-1 series lead in the NBA Finals.
This season marked the first time since the 2005-06 campaign where James’ team missed out on the playoffs; it is also the first time since 2010 that he is not playing in the NBA Finals, according to Basketball Reference.
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