Nikola Jokic, a center for the Denver Nuggets, was fined $25,000 by the NBA for using a gay slur during a post-game interview on Halloween.

Jokic was fined for using an anti-gay slur, saying “He’s long — uh, no homo — he’s longer than you expect,” Jokic said when asked by reporters about [Chicago’s] Wendell Carter Jr. after the Nuggets’ overtime victory [over the Bulls].

Jokic uttered the slur Oct. 31, but the interview was not widely seen until last week, when the NBA heard about it and issued the fine. An NBA regular season regional postgame show does not have a large audience. I totally missed it since the fine was announced the day after the midterm election when I was more focused on politics.

Jokic, 23, would only say “no comment” when asked about the fine, but Nuggets coach Michael Malone stood up for him.

“There’s so many things being said about this poor kid, and I understand some of it, but those of us who know him, like most people in this hallway, give the kid a break,” Malone said. “He made a mistake, he’s paying for it, get off his back a little bit. He’s a great kid. He loves everybody, and he meant no offense to anybody.”

The NBA has smartly taken a zero-tolerance approach to gay slurs and has fined several players over the years, including stars. Jokic’s was mild in comparison to others, but it’s still a slur and the NBA was right to cost him some cash.