OAKLAND, Calif. -- Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber wrote to team employees 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."
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.
Warriors star Stephen Curry defended the team's co-owner on Tuesday.
"I know Peter, I know him personally; I talk to him. Doesn't sound like something he would say," Curry said. "To me it sounds like an honest mistake. I've read a couple emails from him and he has a little quirkiness about how he types.
"Hearing how his reaction to when he found out what exactly happened seemed genuine, kind of got to assess the situation for his character and who he is and that's kind of how I'm going about it. It's an unfortunate situation, obviously in light of things that have happened recently in sports in general, but definitely just think it was an honest mistake of his, and hopefully he can recover from it."
First-year head coach Steve Kerr also came to Guber's defense.
"I don't think it's a big deal, but we'll take him at his word, and just move on," Kerr 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.
Information from ESPN.com's Warriors reporter Ethan Sherwood Strauss contributed to this report.