San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker apologized after he and teammate Boris Diaw, a fellow Frenchman, were seen in separately published photos with controversial comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala making what some perceive as an anti-Semitic gesture.
The photos were published by media outlets in France on Sunday and caused a national stir. Parker and Diaw are seen making "quenelle" symbols with their arms.
The gesture is considered an anti-Semitic symbol in France. Others believe it is a symbol of general defiance.
"While this gesture has been part of French culture for many years, it was not until recently that I learned of the very negative concerns associated with it," Parker said in the statement Monday.
"When l was photographed making that gesture three years ago, I thought it was part of a comedy act and did not know that it could be in any way offensive or harmful. Since I have been made aware of the seriousness of this gesture, I will certainly never repeat the gesture and sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding or harm relating to my actions.
"Hopefully this incident will serve to educate others that we need to be more aware that things that may seem innocuous can actually have a history of hate and hurt."
NBA officials told ESPN.com that they are gather more information before commenting.
---Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol practiced with the team on Monday and will be back in the lineup for Tuesday's home game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Mike Trudell of Lakers.com reported.
The Lakers are riding a five-game losing streak and Gasol has missed the past three games with a respiratory ailment.
--Lakers guard Xavier Henry was scheduled to have an MRI on his strained right knee Monday.
Henry left Sunday night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first quarter and did not return after playing just over four minutes.
Henry previously filled in at point guard with Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar out with injuries. He moved over to shooting guard when Farmar returned and Kobe Bryant went out with a fractured left knee.
---Miami Heat forward LeBron James is a game-time decision for Monday night's game at the Denver Nuggets.
James, who turned 29 on Monday, participated in the team's morning shootaround on a limited basis. James strained his right groin in Friday's overtime loss at the Sacramento Kings. He missed Saturday's win over the host Portland Trail Blazers.
---Former NBA player Connie Dierking died, WKRC-TV announced. He was 77.
Dierking starred at the University of Cincinnati with Oscar Robertson in the late 1950s and played professionally for more than a decade. He was also part of a trade that sent Wilt Chamberlain to the Philadelphia 76ers in 1965.
---Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo is likely to be sidelined for another month or so as he continues to recover from a torn anterior-cruicate ligament, but it is possible Rondo may appear in some Developmental League games before he returns for the Celtics.
According to the Boston Globe, the Celtics are
considering sending Rondo to the Maine Red Claws, their D-League affiliate, to get a few games under his belt before playing for the Celtics.
--- Milwaukee Bucks center John Henson will miss the team's three-game road because of a sprained left ankle he suffered on Dec. 20 in a game at Cleveland, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Monday.
Bucks coach Larry Drew said Monday Henson could be sidelined for up to two weeks. But Henson said he wants to be back next week. Henson is averaging 12.4 points and 8.0 rebounds for the season.
---The Golden State Warriors recalled center Ognjen Kuzmic from the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced.
---The Cleveland Cavaliers recalled guard/forward Sergey Karasev from the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers' NBA Development League affiliate, the team announced Monday.