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Luol Deng to Joakim Noah: Fun’s the word at All-Star Game

“I’m just enjoying it” Joakim Noah said All-Star Weekend Houston. “I’m pretty comfortable with who I am. I don’t need

“I’m just enjoying it,” Joakim Noah said of the All-Star Weekend in Houston. “I’m pretty comfortable with who I am. I don’t need to impress anybody. I’m just having a good time and taking it all in.” | Getty Images

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Updated: March 18, 2013 7:08AM



HOUSTON — Bulls forward Luol Deng was asked what advice he’d give teammate Joakim Noah, who’s making his first All-Star appearance.

“It’s not that serious,” said Deng, who was named to the team for a second consecutive season. “Have fun. He’s going to have fun. Everyone has fun on the bench. When the game starts, you just have to relax and forget about it.”

They say you can easily pick out the first-time All-Stars because they try too hard.

Deng said it was the opposite for him last year because Tom Thibodeau was coaching the East. He said Thibodeau was mad at him because he didn’t play hard enough.

Noah said he isn’t worried about fitting in on the floor.

“I’m just enjoying it,” he said. “I’m pretty comfortable with who I am. I don’t need to impress anybody. I’m just having a good time and taking it all in.”

HOF finalists

Former Carver High standout Tim Hardaway is one of 12 finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.

Gary Payton, Mitch Richmond, Maurice Cheeks, Spencer Haywood and Bernard King are among the other finalists. Tom Heinsohn , already in as a player, is up for induction as a coach. He coached the Celtics to two NBA titles in the ’70s.

The complete Class of 2013 will be announced April 8. Richie Guerin (veterans committee), Oscar Schmidt (international), Russ Granik (contributors), Roger Brown (ABA) and Edwin B. Henderson (early African-American pioneers) already have gained induction as direct-elects.

Hunter ousted

Billy Hunter was unanimously ousted as executive director of the NBA players union Saturday. The move was expected after a review last month found no criminal activity but several conflicts of interest.

Contributing: AP



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