Upon learning that Luol Deng planned to play defense and bring his trademarked intensity and effort during Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game, NBA Commissioner David Stern lashed out.

“I really hope Luol thinks things through and respects the game,” Stern said. “Let’s not forget what the All-Star Game is all about. It’s a showcase for our league’s finest athletes to nurse hangovers, hog the ball, launch ill-advised shots, stand around on defense, and throw alley-oop passes off the backboard to themselves.”

A seething Stern reacted after reading reports that Deng plans to “get a lot of sleep” and wants to “lock down” Kevin Durant.

“I’ll ship Deng’s ass to Charlotte if he tries to do D up on Kevin,” Stern said. “Don’t think I can’t make that happen. Ask the Hornets and Rockets who runs this show. It’s the Stern-man.”

Deng declined comment on Stern’s quotes, then excused himself to do defensive drills and watch game tape of each member of the West’s squad.

Quinn Perkins