Editor's note: Raptors guard Kyle Lowry addressed the media Thursday afternoon and answered questions about the incident between himself and Warriors minority owner Mark Stevens that occurred in the fourth quarter of Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Below is the full transcript between Lowry and the media.
Q. The Warriors and the NBA have both suspended the man who shoved you, ended up being a minority owner of the team. And everybody on the Warriors is crediting you for your the way you handled that situation. A day later, can you kind of take us through it, and do you appreciate the reaction quickly from all sides?
LOWRY: First of all, I want to thank the Warriors for the statement they issued, and then the NBA also. It's just what our league's about and protecting the players.
Like I said last night, there's no room in our game for that. In that situation, I don't think I could have handled it any better. I'm glad I did what I did, and I understand that things could have been a lot different if I reacted a different way or if I did something or put my hands on him or did anything of that nature.
But the support I've gotten from fellow players, the league, has been unbelievable. With that being said, I think more should be done. He's not a good look for the ownership group that they have. And I know Joe Lacob. Those guys are great guys. The ownership that they have that I know, they're unbelievable guys. But a guy like that, showing his true class, and he shouldn't be a part of our league. There's just no place for that.
Since it went a little sideways last night, could you confirm what the guy said to you? To go blank yourself? Is that accurate?
Yeah. Multiple times.
And then in that situation you were just talking about, how did you keep your cool?
Understanding that at the moment my team needed me. Understanding that there are plenty of fans and kids in the world watching this game. Me being a grown man, having kids myself. I'm a grown man and my kids could always go back and see that.
If it wasn't in this situation, things may have been -- they probably would have been done differently, handled differently by me. But understanding that I have two young children and being able to hold myself to a certain standard, which I do, I hold myself to a high, high standard. And I have to make sure that I uphold that.
That's a big thing for me, being a guy that upholds himself to a high standard. Never letting guys like him get under your skin because that's bull crap.
Draymond Green in the past has called for the term "owners" to be done away just because it gives these people this owner mentality, looking at players not as people but as kind of assets. With the incident that took place yesterday, do you think that gives further credence to what he's been saying as far as how maybe owners see athletes just because of the name that they're given?
Yeah, not everyone, not all of them. But certain ones, yes. And I can say for sure that guy makes me feel like that. Mark Stevens, whoever his name is, makes me feel like he's one of those guys. Draymond with that, I remember him saying that. I believe it's true. We call it the Board of Governors, but people in the world would call it the ownership. It should be changed. And a guy like that definitely shows that's what he feels, to me.
How were you able to kind of separate yourself in that moment and quickly get back to what you were doing on the floor, and when did you begin to realize how big a moment you got caught up in?
Whatever happened, happened. I mean, I was furious. I'm not going to lie. It took me a couple minutes to kind of -- I think it was a foul. The ball came in play. I was still thinking about it, and the foul was called. I believe we called a timeout. I was pretty upset. Marc Gasol kind of came to me and said, Look, come on, we need you, kind of come back; they will handle it. And Freddie and Kawhi and those guys, Danny, kind of like, Try to come back here, we need you to stay in this moment and understand the situation that we were in as a basketball game.
And that's what it's about. It's about us winning the basketball game. It definitely kind of brought me back quicker. I knew it would be a big deal, but I didn't know it would be as big of a deal as him being a part of the group that writes the checks. That makes it even more of a place where he should know this is what happens when you sit courtside. There's a probability that a guy is trying to make a hustle play. If Marc Davis wasn't in the way, I think I would have saved it.
But it just happens. I mean, you can do what you want, and obviously he did what he wanted to do at that moment. He wanted to push me and curse at me.
Slightly off topic or different topic would be going -- people come up to Oracle, you want to get one. That's the goal always on the road. How greedy are you guys about an opportunity to get two?
We have to go out there and do our job. We have to continue to be better as a basketball group. We watched film this morning, and we found a lot of mistakes that we made. I think we have to continue to just stay in the moment, continue to push the pace and continue to play defense the way we know how to play defense and do what we can do and control what we can control.
Kind of a two-parter, when LeBron came out earlier today and said, okay, cool, but don't stop here, as far as the reaction, what did that mean to you as far as that kind of support? And secondly, for as angry as you were last night, is it kind of a different anger today that you guys won a Finals game at Oracle and you had 23 and the guys played great and this person's actions have kind of become the story of the Finals at this point?
The one thing about Bron, he's always been an activist and he's always been unbelievable with this. I sent the text, a message to him. He sent one back. I thanked him because he's one of the biggest athletes and most vocal guys that we have out there. His social activism has been amazing. And he sticks up for his fellow players.
He always does the right thing. That's the one thing about him: He's been doing the right thing his whole career. And it means a lot. It really does. It means a lot to be able to have the support of a guy like him and other players also reaching out and having support.
It sucks that this has to take the front page of the Finals. It's been a fun Finals. It's been a competitive Finals. It really sucks that this has to take part and had to be a part of it.
For me, this would be my last time talking about it and dealing with it because it's here and it's now. Hopefully the NBA does more and continues to move forward with this. But it sucks. Because at the end of the day, we just want to play basketball. We were playing basketball and we're trying to win a championship. Our family and our friends are supporting us and watching us, and our colleagues are watching.
The game takes a little bit of a backseat because of this. And it sucks. But we'll get back and we'll have our conversations today about it. Hopefully the league does what I think they should do. And we'll get back and get focused for the game tomorrow.
Has that person reached out to you or made --
-- any attempt to reach out to you as far as you know?
No, I don't think there's any -- I don't know him. I don't care to know him. He showed his true colors at the time. And you show what you're really about in that time and at that moment. And it's not, oh, you get the reaction of everyone else saying this, that, and the other, that's kind of the whole -- I mean, no, you showed what you really are.
For me, if that happened to me: Hey, you okay? You good? And move on. But at that moment, in the heat of the moment, when the pressure and the tightness is on you, you show who you really are.
What was your reaction when you found out that Mark Stevens, the guy who pushed you, was an owner, a part owner of the team?
Unbelievable. Even worse. Even worse. He should understand this is what happens. This is basketball. I'm competing. I'm trying to save a basketball. I'm trying to help my team get a possession. It just sucks, man. It just sucks that you got people like that.
You said that you hoped the league does what you would like them to do. I'm curious: What do you want them to do, first of all? And second of all, you mentioned you thought about your children, Marc Gasol kind of talked you down. Was there a moment where that could have gone another way? Like how did you kind of keep your cool and restrain yourself?
I think what I think and what I feel is a guy like that shouldn't be a part of our league. Being honest with you. That's my personal opinion. That's just how I feel. We have had situations like this before and the league has done the right thing. That's protecting the players and protecting the image of the league.
The second part, yeah, it could have gone the other way. It definitely could have gone bad. But I'm bigger than him as a person. My kids are more important to me than he is to me. So I have to make sure that I always think for my kids first, and that's what it's all about.
How does Klay's absence impact the performance yesterday? How can he impact the game tomorrow?
Well, it takes an All-Star, All-NBA guy off the floor. That's one. It made Steph be a lot more aggressive and still having 47 points, doing everything he could possibly do to help his team win the game.
I think Klay is going to come out and be aggressive and be himself. The one thing about Klay, he brings defense, he brings offense, he brings just that extra swag that they have as a team and as an individual competitor. He's one of the toughest guys out there.
To clarify a couple points, when you were chasing that ball out of bounds, did one of the fans, maybe the woman, slap or try to catch the ball or something and -- go ahead?
I didn't see that. I hit the ball. I was trying to just dive and save it. And, I mean, I made a good save. It just happened to hit the official, Marc Davis, that was standing there. He was standing out of bounds, so it was a good call by him, out of bounds.
And then the other thing, you spent a good while during that timeout talking to the officials. What were you advocating for at that time?
For him to be gone. At that moment, it should have been taken care of right away. I understand this, and I love our fans. We have great fans. But for you to push me, to curse at me, to say things to me, that's not tolerable at all. At that moment, I wanted it to be taken care of. But we're discussing it now. Hopefully things get taken care of. I appreciate the Warriors again for their apology, the NBA for stepping up and we'll see what happens from there.