Last year the selection of L.A. Lakers forward A.C. Green to the All-Star first team brought angry complaints from the Jazz's Karl Malone. But don't look for a repeat this year.
In the early balloting for the NBA All-Star team, Malone is the second-highest vote-getter in the Western Conference, trailing only the Lakers' Magic Johnson. Malone leads all forwards with 35,084 votes, well ahead of the No. 2 consideration, L.A.'s James Worthy (23,881). Green isn't among the top 10.Asked Thursday how he felt about leading the balloting among forwards, Malone smiled and shrugged, "It's just one of those things."
A year ago, it was one of those big things. When Green was picked by fans to start on the West team, Malone cried foul.
Jazz guard John Stockton is only seventh in the guard voting with 7,678 votes, behind Johnson (36,653), Kevin Johnson, Roladno Blackman, Derek Harper, Clyde Drexler and Chris Jackson. Stockton is just 1,069 votes ahead of Dallas guard Fat Lever, who only played 86 minutes all season, due to an injured knee.
Leading vote-getter in the West at center is San Antonio's David Robinson (27,905), followed by Houston's Akeem Olajuwon (23,820). Utah's Mark Eaton is ninth among centers with 1,950 votes.
Here is the voting by position: Guards: Magic Johnson (Lakers) 36,653; Kevin Johnson (Phoenix) 21,862; Rolado Blackman (Dallas) 20,566; Derek Harper (Dallas) 17,209; Clyde Drexler (Portland) 12,154; Chris Jackson (Denver) 9,443; John Stockton (Utah) 7,678; Fat Lever (Dallas) 6,609; Dale Ellis (Seattle) 5,783; Jeff Hornacek (Phoenix) 5,099. Forwards: Karl Malone (Utah) 35,084; James Worthy (Lakers) 23,881; Chris Mullin (Golden State) 15,285; Tom Chambers (Phoenix) 12,515; Sam Perkins (Lakers) 11,844; Terry Cummings (San Antonio) 10,290; Jerome Kersey (Portland) 8,756; Derrick McKey (Seattle) 6,911; Buck Williams (Portland) 6,477; Danny Manning (Clippers) 5,860. Centers: David Robinson (San Antonio) 27,905; Akeem Olajuwon (Houston) 23,820; Roy Tarpley (Dallas) 12,948; Benoit Benjamin (Clippers) 4,647; Kevin Duckworth (Portland) 4,405; Mark West (Phoenix) 3,993; Vlade Divac (Lakers) 2,172; Blair Rasmussen (Denver) 2,101; Mark Eaton (Utah) 1,950; Randy Breuer (Minnesota) 1,890.