Jazz's Kirilenko and wife: Time for a heart-to-heart

So yeah, it’s a hectic lifestyle in the NBA.

I lived it.

Well, OK, not as a player, but as a traveler.

During locker room cleanout on Thursday, Andrei Kirilenko mentioned that “It will be a pretty interesting summer for me. I’ve never been in this position before, never been a free agent before.”

In that light, he said he’d have to evaluate the merits of going to another team or staying. He was quick to note his kids are happy in Salt Lake with their friends, plus his wife owns a clothing store at Gateway.

He also indirectly noted how difficult it is to communicate with your spouse when you’re out of town for 41 games a year, plus the playoffs and preseason.

“This is definitely going to be interesting for me. I’m definitely going to sit down with my wife and explain and talk about the opportunities here and make the right decision for how we want to do it. So family-wise, because the kids are still going to school here, we have to talk about a lot of things, which (he laughed), I never talk with my wife.”

There really isn’t a lot of time to talk, at least during the season.

Will he return? Reading between the lines, I don’t think the Jazz will make a terribly strong offer to keep him in Salt Lake. If he stays, they’ll get him for a bargain price. If not, they’ll use the money to get someone younger.

Still, if Kirilenko left it would mean the loss of a unique player. There aren’t many players anywhere who have A.K.’s combination of skills. It has been a quirky, interesting basketball learning experience for Jazz fans to see that type of player for 10 years.

For your reading enjoyment (I hope), here are a few of my favorite A.K. columns over the years:

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