NEW YORK (AP) -- Three years ago, David Stern was trying to keep Latrell Sprewell out of the NBA.
On Wednesday, Stern made Sprewell an All-Star again.
The NBA commissioner chose Sprewell and Dikembe Mutombo on Wednesday as replacements for injured Eastern Conference All-Stars Grant Hill and Alonzo Mourning.
Stern might still get an additional pick or two if Shaquille O'Neal and Vince Carter can't recover from injuries in time. O'Neal missed his third consecutive game Wednesday night with an inflamed arch on his right foot, and Carter did not travel with the Raptors for their game at Atlanta on Wednesday night.
Stern's choice of Sprewell was a bit surprising given the history between the two. The commissioner suspended Sprewell for a year in 1997 for attacking his coach, and Sprewell went to arbitration and to court to have the suspension reduced.
Sprewell still has a lawsuit pending against the league, claiming he was unjustly punished for choking P.J. Carlesimo during practice when the two were with the Golden State Warriors.
Sprewell was not available for comment after his selection was announced, but told reporters earlier Wednesday that it would be "special" to be selected by Stern.
"I've worked hard, I think, since I've been back, since the suspension, and I think everything is behind me now. It should be just about the way I performed this year. We'll see."
Stern was not available for comment.
Sprewell, a three-time All-Star when he played for Golden State, is averaging 17.3 points for the New York Knicks, who have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.
Mutombo, a six-time All-Star, currently leads the league in rebounding with an average of 13.8.
On Tuesday, the NBA announced the results of the coaches' voting for the reserves. Picked in the Western Conference for the Feb. 11 game in Washington were Karl Malone (Utah), Antonio McDyess (Denver), David Robinson (San Antonio), Gary Payton (Seattle), Michael Finley (Dallas), Rasheed Wallace (Portland) and Kevin Garnett (Minnesota).
Stephon Marbury (New Jersey), Theo Ratliff (Philadelphia), Allan Houston (New York), Anthony Mason (Miami), Jerry Stackhouse (Detroit), Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson (Milwaukee) were chosen for the East.
For now, there are five first-timers -- Marbury, McDyess, Mason, Ratliff and Tracy McGrady -- among the 24 All-Stars.
Previously announced as All-Star starters were Hill (Orlando), Mourning (Miami), McGrady (Orlando), Carter (Toronto) and Allen Iverson (Philadelphia) for the East; and O'Neal (Lakers), Tim Duncan (San Antonio), Chris Webber (Sacramento), Jason Kidd (Phoenix) and Kobe Bryant (Lakers) for the West.
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