The Chicago Bulls centre Joakim Noah has fined $63,000for yelling an insulting remark, believed to be a gay slur, after a spectator taunted him during his team's NBA playoff loss in Miami yesterday..
Noah was caught on television cameras appearing to use the word after sitting on the bench early in the opening quarter of Miami's 96-85 win.
He apologised later. saying the fan said something to him he thought was disrespectful.
The Bulls British forward Luol Deng said the Heat fan repeatedly taunted Noah, who just lost his temper.
The NBA says the fine is half the penalty Kobe Bryant incurred last month because the Los Angeles Lakers playmaker directed his abuse at a referee.
The Heat has a 2-1 lead in the best of seven Eastern Conference final.