Andrei Kirilenko ain't too proud to beg

After spouting off in Russian a few weeks ago, Andrei Kirilenko is back in the media spotlight reiterating his wish to leave the Utah Jazz, this time in plain english. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Kirilenko, during an interview with local TV station KLS 5, made it quite clear in so many ways that he simply doesn’t fit the current Jazz roster and within Coach Jerry Sloan’s system.
“I’m stuck. I don’t know. I’m stuck in this situation,” Kirilenko said. “I just want him [Jazz owner Larry Miller] to help me again and help the team. I don’t want to be an anchor for the team. Right now, I feel like an anchor game-wise and money-wise. I want the Jazz to be as happy as possible.”
You can almost feel the frustration when you read Kirilenko’s words. He sounds like a grounded teenager begging and pleading with his parents to let him go to the party with the cool kids. It’s almost as if he’s saying, “I’ll do whatever you want, I’ll mow the lawn, I’ll take out the trash, I’ll clean out my room, please just let me go.”

We’re not sure how the Utah Jazz can go into a season with this Kirilenko issue hanging over their head like an ominous cloud of bad karma. The entire scenario has all the makings of turning into a major locker room issue – a cancer on one of the brightest young teams in the league. It has to be dealt with right now, before the hinges fall off on what should be a promising season for the Utah Jazz. A trade, given Kirilenko’s large contract and small production (at least in 2007), will be extremely difficult to pull off, but Miller and Sloan need to explore all available leads and grant the hypersensitive Russian his walking papers.

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