It's best not to spend too much time analyzing all-star selections in any sport. All of that head-scratching is bad for the scalp. But it's hard to avoid a scratch or two when you consider the picks for Sunday's NBA All-Star Game in Minneapolis. Why, for instance, did Karl Malone of the Jazz finish sixth in the fan voting among Western Conference forwards, behind the likes of Chris Mullin of the Warriors, A.C. Green of the Suns and even Antoine Carr of the Spurs, for goodness" sake? And how did the Bulls' B.J. Armstrong get more votes than any other Eastern Conference guard? Could it be that Michael Jordan left fans voting for Chicago guards by force of habit?
But as popularity contests go, the results of this one are, for the most part, hard to quibble with. Still, there's never been an All-Star roster that couldn't be improved with a little tinkering. Here are the rosters for the game, along with our changes:
Starting guards: Armstrong; Kenny Anderson, Nets.
Reserves: Mookie Blaylock, Hawks; Mark Price, Cavaliers; John Starks, Knicks.
We would start Blaylock, who is having as good an all-around season as any guard in the conference, and Price, and we would leave Armstrong off the team because, as you'll see below, we want to add another forward to this squad. Some observers say that the Pacers' Reggie Miller was snubbed, but he's too one-dimensional for us.
Starting forwards: Derrick Coleman, Nets; Scottie Pippen, Bulls.
Reserves: Horace Grant, Bulls; Dominique Wilkins, Hawks.
It's hard to improve on this group, but we would add Charles Oakley of the Knicks. Sometimes players can have career years that are not statistically apparent. Oakley is one of the best defensive forwards in the league, a superb positional rebounder and in many ways the soul of his team.