|This photo take May 22, 2011 shows Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah during Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals basketball series against the Miami Heat in Miami, Sunday, May 22, 2011. Noah apologized again Monday May 23, 2011, for directing an anti-gay slur at a fan during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, and was bracing for punishment likely a large fine from the NBA. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)|
Bulls' Noah says $50,000 fine for slur is 'fair'
MIAMI—Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah said the NBA's decision to fine him $50,000 for directing an anti-gay slur toward a fan is "fair."
Speaking Tuesday morning as the Bulls prepared to face the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, Noah again acknowledged making a mistake in his back-and-forth with the fan.
"I made a mistake, learned from it and move on," Noah said. "That's about it."
The NBA announced the fine Monday afternoon, one day after television cameras caught Noah using a profanity, followed by the slur, after returning to the Chicago bench midway through the opening quarter of Game 3 in Miami.
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers was fined $100,000 for using the same slur in April, directing it toward a referee. Noah said he was not sure what to expect in terms of a fine when he met with NBA officials to discuss the matter on Monday, hours before the sanction was announced.
"I was just ready to face the consequences and move on and get ready for this game," Noah said. "I don't want to be a distraction to the team."
The Bulls entered Tuesday down 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
Noah said Game 4 is Chicago's most important game of the season, adding that he is not concerned about what the reaction will be when he faces the Miami crowd.
"That's the last of my worries," Noah said.
He also said he does not believe security around the bench areas is an issue.