Karl Malone, overlooked by the fans for the NBA All-Star Game, was a unanimous choice of Western Conference coaches as a reserve - and he was somewhat surprised in the wake of his initial reaction after not being voted as a starter last week.
"Maybe somebody would say, `He doesn't really want to go,' " he said. "After all the attention, I don't think it would have been a big disappointment not to be selected by the coaches."But Malone will be in Miami after all, joining teammate John Stockton. Malone was the game's MVP last February in Houston, posting 28 points and nine rebounds in a 143-134 West victory.
Malone was not the only NBA All-Star MVP with Utah ties selected as a reserve by Western Conference coaches. Phoenix's Tom Chambers, the ex-University of Utah forward, will join the Jazz's Malone for the Feb. 11 game in Miami.
The other West reserves will be guards Kevin Johnson of Phoenix, Clyde Drexler of Portland, and Fat Lever of Denver, center David Robinson of San Antonio and forward Chris Mullin of Golden State. Chambers, the 1987 MVP, is making his third All-Star appearance, the same as Malone.
The East reserves are guards Joe Dumars of Detroit and Reggie Miller of Indiana, center Patrick Ewing and forwards Kevin McHale of Boston, Scottie Pippen of Chicago, Dennis Rodman of Detroit and Dominique Wilkins of Atlanta. Each conference's coaches voted for two guards, two forwards, one center and two wild-card players.