NBA

Canadian NBA star Andrew Wiggins denies calling opponent 'gay'

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins is denying he used the word “gay” in describing Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder's behaviour during their game on Tuesday night.

Minnesota Timberwolves' post-game comments unclear on video

Andrew Wiggins said he "would never use any term to disrespect" the LGBTQIA community. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins is denying he used the word "gay" in describing Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder's behaviour during their game on Tuesday night.

Thunder centre Nerlens Noel was taken off the court on a stretcher in the third quarter after Wiggins collided with Noel on a dunk attempt Tuesday night. Schroder, unhappy about the play and other incidents in what was a testy game, eventually was given a technical foul for an altercation with Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague.

After the game, Wiggins, who grew up north of Toronto in Vaughan, thought Schroder's actions were unwarranted and some thought he appeared to say "He was just gay. He was acting crazy for no reason."

However, the Canadian used Twitter on Wednesday to deny that he made such a comment.

The incident overshadowed Wiggins' season-high 40 points and 10 rebounds in the Wolves' 119-117 victory.  

The NBA has fined players for using anti-gay slurs in the past. Denver Nuggets centre Nikola Jokic was fined $25,000 US in November for using offensive language during a post-game interview.

Thunder coach Billy Donovan said after the game that Noel was taken to the University of Oklahoma's OU Medical Center. He did not offer details on the injury.

Wiggins said he didn't mean to hurt Noel.

"I just tried to make an aggressive move and dunk," Wiggins said. "He tried to contest it. I think he fell wrong. I didn't really see it until I saw him on the ground. Hopefully, he's good. I hope nothing but the best for him. I hope he gets healthy soon and comes back stronger."

The skirmish between Schroder and Teague came a few minutes after the collision. Two technicals were called on Teague and he was ejected.

With files from The Associated Press