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Will Kirilenko Make His Exodus From The Utah Jazz?

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A great deal of uncertainty has been swirling around the world of basketball this past year. First there was the lock-out which lasted far longer than anyone thought it would or wanted it to. The millions of NBA fans who were anxious to spend their evenings watching their favorite players run the floor and aim their shots toward the basketball backboard were put on hold for several long months. When that finally got resolved and the revised schedule was announced then came the “wait and see” game about which players would be traded. That is where Utah Jazz fans find themselves at this point and the main player in question is Andrei Kirilenko, a ten year veteran with the Utah team. When Kirilenko first put on a Jazz basketball uniform over ten years ago hopes were very high that this tall and lanky young man would produce great results for the team. For the most part those hopes were never realized. There was that one all-star season early on in his career with Utah that left many feeling that it was just the start of a terrific career for the young player from Russia. That didn’t happen. Instead he went on to have less than satisfying seasons, one after another. On top of that he became a financial burden to the team with his annual salary of $17.8 million dollars. It was obvious to almost everyone that he was not earning that enormous salary. He recently made sports writer, Larry Coon’s list of the top overpaid players in the NBA. No doubt that is not the kind of distinction Kililenko wanted to be known for and certainly not the kind the Utah Jazz had hoped for their “once upon a time” premiere forward. The final deal which will send Andrei packing has not officially taken place but will likely be announced in the next few days. It appears that Kirilenko will make his new home in New Jersey where he will join the roster of the Nets who is owned by fellow Russian Mikhail Prokhorov. Although it is true that Andrei did not live up to his potential he was a well-loved Jazzman for a good many years and there are many that will be sorry to see him go. We wish him well.