Kobe Bryant: ‘The words ... were NOT meant to offend anyone’

If it’s not Kobe Bryant directing a homophobic slur at a referee, it’s Andrew Bynum hurting his knee. Or Steve Blake coming down with the chicken pox in a Los Angeles Lakers locker room in which Bryant, Bynum and Ron Artest have never been vaccinated.

Whew.

Bryant issued a clarification of sorts for an incident in the Lakers’ victory over the Spurs on Tuesday night. After being hit with a technical, he went to the bench and yelled at referee Bennie Adams, using an expression that prompted TNT’s Steve Kerr to say, “You might wanna take the cameras off of him right now, for the children watching from home.”

Bryant issued a statement through the Lakers on Wednesday afternoon, saying:

“What I said last night should not be taken literally. 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.”

What happens now to Bryant with the Lakers on the cusp of the playoffs and playing their last regular-season game tonight in Sacramento? Should he be fined? Suspended? Should nothing be done?

Meanwhile, there’s no further sign of the pox, with Blake expected to be sidelined a while. Bynum skipped the trip to Sacramento and, after having an MRI on his hyperextended knee, tweeted Wednesday afternoon:

Thanks for all the love and support! I’m feeling better then expected, getting therapy now. I will check back in once I get the results!less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAndrew Bynum
AndrewBynum

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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