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Jordan lauds Utah’s Mailman

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According to Chicago Tribune writer Terry Armour, Chicago's Michael Jordan said if he were voting for the NBA's Most Valuable Player, he would have picked Utah's Karl Malone too.

Jordan wasn't being nice, and he insisted he wasn't trying to say the right thing. Jordan simply believes that Malone, who on Sunday was named the league's MVP for the first time in his 12-year career, was deserving of the award this season."Consistently, we've done our jobs on our respective teams," Jordan said Monday on the eve of the Bulls' Eastern Conference finals series opener against the Miami Heat at the United Center. "As much as I was probably deserving, he was just as deserving as I am. So I'm very happy for what he's done."

The three Chicago beat writers who regularly cover the Bulls - including this particular one - all voted for Malone over Jordan, sparking a local controversy. But Jordan said it's no big deal.

"I respect that," Jordan said. "I don't have any animosity - as long as I get the hardware at the end of the season."