After Bennie Adam called a technical foul against the L.A. Laker, Bryant uttered "f---ing f---ot," and it was caught on camera.
"While I'm fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated," NBA commissioner David Stern said in a statement.
Bryant later apologized on ESPN radio and said, "The comment that I made, even though it was not meant as what it's perceived to be, is nonetheless wrong." Still, Bryant told the station he's appealing the fine.
Ironically, Bryant's outburst comes at a time when the league is trying to present themselves as being more tolerant. The NBA is planning a public-service announcement with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) that is set to air during the finals. Phoenix Suns player Grant Hill taped his portion the same day Bryant made the comment.