(Updated: May 10, 2011 at 10:38 AM CT)

NBA star LeBron James apologized Monday after he was heard muttering “that’s retarded” during a post-game press conference over the weekend.

James made the comment as his Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade fielded a question from a reporter about play during the team’s loss to the Boston Celtics Saturday.

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In the exchange, which was caught on video, James covered his mouth with his hand and did not seem to be aware that a microphone had picked up the sound.

When asked about his choice of words early Monday, James told reporters that he was only expressing annoyance with the question and did not intend to offend. But after news of the incident continued to circulate, James publicly addressed the issue at a post-game press conference Monday night.

“First of all, before I answer your two questions, I want to apologize for using the r-word after game 3. If I offended anyone, I sincerely apologize,” James said.

Just last month Lady Gaga apologized for using the word “retarded” in a magazine interview. Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Silverman, Rush Limbaugh and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel are among other well-known figures who have been criticized recently for using the term.