The NBA has fined Newport Coast resident Kobe Bryant $100,000 for directing a gay slur at a referee during Tuesday's game against the San Antonio Spurs.
It happened during an outburst by Bryant after he received his 15th technical foul of the season.
Game video shows an upset Kobe hit a chair, throw a towel and then yell at referee Bennie Adams, calling him a "f***ing f**got."
Bryant responded Wednesday morning after growing criticism about the remark.
"What I said last night should not be taken literally," Bryant said in a statement. "My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game. Period. The words expressed do not reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were not meant to offend anyone."