The problem arose once he was asked the question, because Denver Nuggets Coach Doug Moe never has dodged a touchy subject in his NBA career.

So his response to whether Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was deserving to play in Sunday's 39th All-Star Game wasn't that much of a surprise."Somebody asked me if I think Kareem should be on the All-Star team for sentimental reasons," Moe said. "Kareem would be the last guy you'd pick for sentimental reasons. Here's a guy who has been pretty much a jerk almost his entire life. He's been one of the least-liked guys in NBA history by the fans, media, the players.

"If one time or another, you've ticked off everybody in basketball, how . . . are you supposed to get a sentimental vote?"

Moe's remarks came as a shock, however, to most NBA people.