Andrei Kirilenko Talks About Going From All-Star To Role Player And The Jazz’s Terrible Start

11.11.09 8 years ago 21 Comments

Andrei Kirilenko

The Utah Jazz locker room is a lot more interesting than you think. Although he gives terrible interviews, Deron Williams has no problem running his mouth to C.J. Miles and Ronnie Brewer. Rookie Eric Maynor is getting teased by every media member in the Madison Square Garden locker room for his hot pink Barbie backpack (I’m guessing it’s not by choice). Meanwhile, Carlos Boozer is on his own island sitting in front of the TV watching game film while bobbing his head to his headphones (which are playing Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement”). In the midst of the chaos, Andrei Kirilenko is sitting quietly by himself reading a book and looking sophisticated with his new Jude Law haircut and his legs crossed. I felt bad interrupting him, but did so anyway to get this interview.

Dime: What are you reading?
Andrei Kirilenko: Just fantasy. This is his (points to Kyrylo Fesenko). It’s alright.

Dime: Tell me about your new addition to your family. (Kirilenko traveled to Russia last month to adopt a baby girl, Alexandra)
AK: We love her. I think for a long time, I want girl, so finally we have it.

Dime: How tough was the adoption process?
AK: It was a tough process, a long process. There’s a lot of stories. You remember in, I think New Jersey, the family got the Russian kid and he finally ended up murdered and stuff like that. The guys in the government made the process way harder which is way right because the people who are becoming the parents have to be trustworthy and reliable. But it takes a long, long time. We’ve been working with psychologists, getting a lot of paper work.

Dime: When you traveled to Russia to adopt, it was in the middle of training camp. How tiring was it to travel back and forth and jump back into practice and games?
AK: It’s not fun because it’s a lot of flights. But I’m flying pretty much all year so you kind of get used to it.

Dime: Considering the talent on the Jazz’s roster, how tough has this start been?
AK: It wasn’t really lucky for us. We lost a few games our record is not the best one right not. But I think game wise, we played not bad games. Even during those losses, we had like three quarters of those beautiful, nice, solid game. But we can’t finish it. Either one quarter is out of hand and we’re losing the whole game because of it. So we have to concentrate more on the whole duration of the game.

Dime: Are you happy with your play so far?
AK: I mean, I reached my goal in the offseason, I gained 20 pounds and played my same type of a game. So, I’m pretty happy.

Dime: Everyone remembers you were an All-Star a few years ago. Do you think you can get back to that level?
AK: Well again, I’m trying to produce for the team. Whatever it takes for me to produce, I’ll try to provide. My role is way different now than it was three or four years ago. I’m trying to be very valuable, a guy who provides energy for Deron and Boozer, because they’re in charge of the team right now.

Dime: This is your ninth season with the Jazz. Do you want to finish your there?
AK: Well I love it in Salt Lake. Both of my sons were born there. It’s cool there, I have a lot of friends. I don’t know any other city. We’ll see how the next contract goes. My next step in my career will be definitely related with my family. It’s not what if my team wants me, it’s a decision with me and my family.

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