NBA player from Russia Andrei Kirilenko has retired, but it seems like his former team Utah Jazz wouldn’t mind having him back with the team, in a different role.
According to Deseret News, the Jazz would be interested in having Kirilenko in the organization.
“We’re proud he’s part of our history. One of the things we want to do is just not be domestic, we want to be international, so him and Memo (Okur) and other international players – they’re really grandfathers for some of the players we’re bringing in,” Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey told Deseret News.
“As you know, we got Memo back (as a team ambassador) and I really look forward to the day when Andrei will want to reintegrate back into the program, at a small level or at a big level,” he said.
Asked what A.K.’s legacy in Utah will be, Lindsey said it is “a more appropriate question” for former coach Jerry Sloan.
“When you’re not a scorer, where they play through you on every possession, it’s a little like when Scottie Pippen played with Michael, and Michael was the rock star and Scottie was a supporting actor,” Lindsey said.
“But what he did with his passing and athleticism were so unique, I think Andrei was a Jazz version of Scottie Pippen in many ways.”
Kirilenko, a 2004 NBA All-Star, entered the NBA with the Utah Jazz and spent 10 seasons with the team. He averaged career high 16.5 ppg and 8.1 rpg in 2003-04 for the Jazz. Kirilenko also led the NBA in blocks per game (3.3 bpg) in 2004-05, and in overall blocks the next season.
During his NBA years, Kirilenko played for the Jazz (10 seasons), one season with Minnesota Timberwolves and two more seasons with the Brooklyn Nets. He appeared in total 797 NBA regular season games (started 546), averaging 11.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 1.8 bpg in 30 mpg.
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