AK47 Fully Loaded
AK47, also known as Andrei Kirilenko (#47 for the Utah Jazz), is clearly unhappy playing for the Utah Jazz under coach Jerry Sloan. He is so adamant about not playing for Sloan that he will give up the remaining unpaid portion of his $63 million contract with the Jazz if they let agree to let him free [Report: Kirilenko ‘ready’ to leave NBA, $63M contract].
It is not my place to say whether Kirilenko should have such feelings towards the Utah Jazz and Jerry Sloan. However, I am not quite sure that Kirilenko should be voicing his extreme opinions to the media..
“I just want to explain to everybody what I think and feel and that I could sacrifice my career with the NBA. The only thing I’m not prepared for is if I’m told, ‘Andrei, we want you to stay anyway.’ I’m sure then the next season would be a repetition of the previous one, and what will the fans say then? How could you possibly rely on a player who wants to leave?”
“For the past two years I’ve been going on the court and acting like a robot. When I signed my contract the future looked completely different — I thought I would play, win and get pleasure from it. Unfortunately, this is out of the question now — even in successful games. This is the worst feeling.”
If Kirilenko feels this way, then I feel somewhat sorry for him. I do not feel sorry for him if Sloan and Jazz management do not respect AK47’s wishes after he made those comments. It was unnecessary for him to speak in such a manner to any media entity (even a Russian paper) while under contract. Another consequence of his remarks will be an upset fan base. My question is where was his agent (Marc Fleisher of Entersport) during all of this? Kirilenko hired Fleisher to represent him in times like these. That representation should include relations with the media. Andrei…for future reference, keep your mouth shut and let your agent handle the media and team ownership when you are upset with your contract.