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Who Is Mark Stevens, The Silicon Valley Billionaire Banned From The NBA Finals?

Friday June 7, 2019
Angel Au-Yeung

Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors argues with Warriors minority investor and billionaire Mark Stevens. GETTY

On Wednesday during the NBA Finals game between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors, a courtside fan was thrown out of the game for pushing Raptors player Kyle Lowry, after the athlete crashed into a row of seats during the game.

But it wasn’t just any rabid fan. It was Bay Area billionaire Mark Stevens, who owns a minority stake in the Warriors.

“Mr. Stevens’ behavior last night did not reflect the high standards that we hope to exemplify as an organization,” the Warriors said in a statement. “There is no place for such interaction between fans—or anyone—and players at an NBA game. Mr. Stevens will not be in attendance at any of the remaining games of the 2019 NBA Finals.”

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Stevens, whose net worth Forbes estimates at $2.3 billion, is a longtime Silicon Valley venture capitalist. He spent two years on the technical staff at Hughes Aircraft followed by five years as a salesman at semiconductor firm Intel Corp. before joining Sequoia Capital in 1989 as an associate. He became a partner four years later. In his two decades at Sequoia, the storied VC firm invested in several tech titans, including Google, PayPal and LinkedIn. Stevens specialized in semiconductors, networking systems and software.

He left Sequoia in March 2012 (though he remains a special limited partner) to start his own firm and family office, S-Cubed Capital. Founded in April 2012, his firm invests in technology, financial asset management, sports management, agribusiness, and real estate.

Stevens is currently on the boards of Nvidia, a chip maker, Second Spectrum, a sports-video-focused machine learning startup, and Innovium, a chip maker for data centers.

A philanthropist, Stevens has signed the Giving Pledge, created by billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to get America’s wealthiest individuals to give away more than half of their wealth to charity. S-Cubed Capital also manages the family’s philanthropy, with focus areas in education, environment and research universities.

Stevens joined the Warriors ownership team in August 2013. He purchased the minority stake from Indian American businessman Vivek Ranadive, who was required to sell after he led a group to purchase a controlling stake in the Sacramento Kings in May 2013. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

At the time of the deal, executive chairman of the Warriors Peter Guber had only positive things to say about the venture capitalist. “Mark will prove to be a tremendous asset to our organization as we strive to become one of the model franchises in professional sports,” Guber said in a press release. “We’ve managed to build a strong and well-rounded ownership group in which each individual contributes to our success, and Mark is no exception. He’s an ideal fit.”

Stevens did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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