The NBA is in damage-control mode this morning after slow-motion instant replays revealed that Heat star LeBron James morphed into Satan at least once during Tuesday night’s Eastern Conference Finals playoff game.

“While we have always known LeBron was pure evil, we had no prior knowledge that he had such a direct affiliation with the dark lords of the underworld,” said commissioner David Stern. “This is certainly something that concerns us.”

After seemingly every made shot in Tuesday night’s 101-93 Game 4 overtime win in Miami against the Bulls James vigorously showboated, mugging for the frenzied crowd. On at least one occasion he briefly sprouted horns, pointed eyebrows and a tail, baring a resemblance so uncanny that many now believe James is Satan himself.

“We all thought the guy made a deal with the devil when he signed with the Heat,” said TNT analyst and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley. “But now it turns out he actually is the devil. That’s just turrible.”

James’ status for Game 5 in Chicago Thursday is now up in the air as his Heat will try to clinch the series.

“We’re currently checking the rulebook to see if supernatural entities are allowed to play in our league,” said Stern. “The closest we’ve had to a supernatural athlete was Michael Jordan, and we all know LeBron will never be in the same class as Michael.”

Image by Pat Lamorte