The Golden State Warriors may be gearing up for their season opener, but comments made by the team's co-owner are taking center stage.
Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber wrote to team employees Tuesday to say that he regrets if anybody was offended by his unintentional use of "hoodish" in an email.
Yahoo Sports reported late Monday night that Guber listed "hoodish'' as one of the languages he planned to learn as he replied to a team email praising the franchise for having five international players on this season's roster. Guber, who is Jewish, responded later that he intended to type Yiddish.
The Warriors confirmed the authenticity of the emails to The Associated Press on Tuesday morning.
The NBA sent out a release Monday night that said the league's 30 teams will have a record 101 international players from 37 countries and territories. Warriors vice president of communications Raymond Ridder forwarded the release to team employees, congratulating the team for a third of its roster consisting of international players: Andrew Bogut, Leandro Barbosa, Festus Ezeli, Ognjen Kuzmic and Nemanja Nedovic.
Guber responded to the email: "I'm taking rosetta stone to learn Hungarian Serbian Australian swahili and hoodish This year. But it's nice.''
Guber sent a follow-up email saying, "Someone just brought to my attention that an email I responded to earlier contains the word `hoodish,' which I don't even think Is a Word, and certainly not the one I intended to use. I intended to type Yiddish. Either my mobile fone autocorrected or it was typed wrong. In any event I regret if anyone was unintendedly offended.''
The Warriors have no Yiddish-speaking players, head coach Steve Kerr confirmed to reporters Tuesday.
Guber is chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group. He joined Joe Lacob's group to buy the Warriors in 2010 for $450 million, which was then an NBA record. Guber also owns a minority stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“It's an unfortunate situation in light of things that have happened in sports in general, but I definitely think it's an honest mistake,” Warriors star Stephen Curry said.
Coach Kerr also said he’d take Guber “at his word."
“I don't think there was anything malicious by any means,” said Kerr.
League officials seem to agree.
"We don't have any reason to believe that Peter intended to use inappropriate language in his correspondence and have no plans for any further action," league spokesman Mike Bass said Tuesday.
The email snafu comes at a time when the NBA is reeling from other league executives making racially charged statements.
Bruce Levenson announced last month that he would sell his controlling interest in the Atlanta Hawks and apologized for talking about race in an email in August 2012. In that email, Levenson said the Hawks struggle with attendance because "the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a significant season ticket base.''
Levenson's email came after an investigation into comments Hawks general manager Danny Ferry made while reading from a scouting report about free agents. On a conference call, Ferry described forward Luol Deng, who now plays for Miami, as someone who "has a little African in him.''
Ferry has taken an indefinite leave of absence.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also banned then-Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life in April after recorded comments surfaced of him asking a female companion not to bring black people to games or publicly associate with them. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer bought the Clippers from the Sterling family for a record $2 billion earlier this year.
Bay City News contributed to this report.