Posted by: Drew Bingham on June 5th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
It’s been over a year since Andrei Kirilenko has put on a Utah Jazz jersey. The 2010-2011 season was a disappointment for many Utah fans, and as a result they were looking for someone to blame. Despite 10 years with the Jazz, many thought it was time for AK47 to move on. That’s exactly what happened, but now it’s time for a reunion.
The Jazz may have exceeded expectations in 2012, but it was Kirilenko who had the most success. He had an MVP season while leading his team to a Euroleague championship, and now he wants to come back to the NBA. He’s a perfect fit for the Utah Jazz, and there are five reasons why the fans should welcome him back with open arms:
- History: Andrei Kirilenko has proven he can be an elite player. In his first year in the league he made the NBA All-Rookie First Team, and went on to make the All-Star Team two years later. He also has a history with the Jazz and has worked with Coach Corbin. This would help him transition seamlessly back with the team. He would bring a much-needed veteran presence to this young Utah Jazz squad.
- Defensive Ability: Andrei Kirilenko was once considered an elite defender, making the NBA All-Defensive First or Second Team three years in a row. While he hasn’t had much recognition over the past few years, he is always a threat for steals, blocks, and rebounds…and he is capable of becoming his former self.
- Position: With Josh Howard likely on his way out, the Jazz need someone solid at the small forward position. Gordon Hayward will likely start at shooting guard, opening up a spot for Kirilenko.
- Revitalized Career: Kirilenko had an ideal season playing for CSKA Moscow. He increased his numbers in almost every statistical category, achieved MVP honors, and led his team to a Euroleague Championship. Kirilenko is looking like his old self and is capable of carrying that momentum into his next NBA season.
- Desire: During a recent press conference in Istanbul, Kirilenko expressed his desire to return to the NBA, and displayed loyalty to the Utah Jazz: “I have a huge history with the Utah Jazz and they are a priority for me among the 30 teams competing in the NBA…” He WANTS to come back!
Utah needs to make an offer to Kirilenko, nothing huge but enough to bring him back. He’s worth it. He’s a great fit, and Jazz fans should be grateful if they get the opportunity to have him again.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.