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Kyle Lowry has already eliminated 1 Warrior

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We have that and more in Friday’s NBA newsletter.

2019 NBA Finals - Game Three Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

You may remember from Game 3 of the NBA Finals that Kyle Lowry dove into the crowd to save a ball. But as he try to extract himself from the crowd, a Warriors fan two people away from the incident took it upon himself to reach out and push Lowry and jaw at him for no apparent reason.

The other Warriors fans in the vicinity, including the woman who took the brunt of the dive, were trying to help Lowry get up. The shover was ejected from the game. Lowry and others railed on him.

As it turns out, Axios discovered that said shoving fan was none other than Warriors minority partner and venture capitalist Mark Stevens. Upon confirmation of that fact, the Warriors quickly declared he was sorry and he would not attend any more Finals games. Later, the NBA declared Stevens would be banned from the arena for a year and fined $500,000. (Forbes estimates Stevens’ net worth at $2.3 billion.)

Stevens offered his own apology later on. One wonders if the Warriors’ controlling partners might make an effort to replace him in the franchise equity group. One wonders if fans or players might agitate for that. You have to imagine that a non-billionaire fan who did this would quite possibly be barred for life from the arena.

We have a trade

The offseason has officially begun! A day after eagle-eyed observers got a glimpse of Kyrie Irving hanging out with a few Nets players at a club, Brooklyn traded Allen Crabbe, the No. 17 pick, and a future first for Taurean Prince and a second rounder. This move opens up a second max contract spot for the Nets and gives the Hawks yet another 2019 pick to go with the bucket of them they already have. It sounds like Atlanta might be interested in moving up into the top five for the right player.

Woj reports that the Nets are serious about wooing Kyrie. Word to Anthony “Pooch” Puccio, who has been reporting this for a couple of weeks.

Who will be the next team to signal they are going after ultimate July victory?!

Links

As of Thursday, Klay Thompson will probably play in Friday’s Game 4 while Kevin Durant remains out. If Klay is limited and Stephen Curry is tired — and even if not, as witnessed in Game 1 — this series could be on the precipice by the end of the day. Game 4 tips off at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

I’m really excited to watch as much World Cup soccer as I can. Our coverage, led by Kim McCauley, is spectacular. I’m pretty sure women’s and men’s soccer is the only sport for which I can summon patriotic fervor these days. And of course that’s only if Team USA isn’t playing against one of the nations to which I have strained, generations old ties.

Acknowledging Wayne Embry’s role in the Raptors’ rise.

Maybe the most interesting and enlightening piece on the impacts of analytics in basketball written in the 13 or so years since people started writing about analytics in basketball en masse.

Five moments that helped pave the path to the Finals.

Devin Gordon on Joe McLean, the wealth advisor NBA stars like Klay Thompson trust.

Here are some things to do that are not putting your hands on Kyle Lowry.

Word to the winners of this year’s Pro Basketball Writers Association awards. I remember the first time Dan Devine sent me a link to something he wrote ... it’s not surprising to see him here, it’s just enormously wonderful. Speaking of which ...

Dan Devine on what Kyle Lowry did on the court: he let it rip.

By the way, there was another story out of Game 3 involving Warriors franchise ownership: majority partner Joe Lacob’s wife Nicole Curran was bombarded by social media hate from Beyoncé fans after a quick clip of Bey reacting to Curran leaning over Bey to say something to Jay Z. (Bey and Jay were Curran’s guests. In the clip, Curran is apparently asking Jay if he wants lime in the vodka soda he ordered.) Beyoncé’s publicist has told fans to stop. The NBA, folks!

The 2009 Magic as the forgotten three-point revolutionaries.

Sopan Deb on the power of basketball in the Philippines. I recommend anyone who likes that piece to check out Rafe Bartholomew’s excellent tome on the subject, Pacific Rims. One of the best covers of a basketball book ever.

Be excellent to each other.