Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah apologized Sunday night for hurling an anti-gay slur at a fan.

During game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat, the six-foot-eleven, 26-year-old Noah was called for a personal foul against LeBron James in the opening quarter. As TNT's cameras remained fixed on the benched player, he appeared to shout “faggot” at a fan in Miami's American Airlines Arena. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

“I apologize,” Noah said. “The fan said something to me that I thought was disrespectful, and I said some things that I shouldn't have said. I was frustrated and I don't mean no disrespect to anybody. I just got caught up.”

He added that he expects to be fined for the outburst.

The incident comes after Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant was fined $100,00 for using the same anti-gay slur against referee Bennie Adams last month. Bryant apologized but added that he'll appeal the fine, prompting former NBA player John Amaechi, who is gay, to question Bryant's sincerity.

A PSA featuring Phoenix Suns players Grant Hill and Jared Dudley urging young people not use the word “gay” as an insult was being broadcast by the NBA.