NBA Cult Classics -- The Astoundingly Irreplaceable Kyrylo Fesenko


Let's get a few things out of the way right here . . . Kyrylo Fesenko is 7'1, has a 9'5 standing reach, cannot be backed down, and changed more shots than a maternity ward nurse has changed diapers. Somehow we found there to be no need for him to be on our team though, and that's fine. That said, at one point in time the Utah Jazz loved him so much they traded up on draft night to get him, then recognized what a raw talent they had on their hands that they sent money over to his club in the Ukraine just so they could put him through the paces at the Rocky Mountain Review summer league. The loved him so much that they didn't even play him.

Part of why *could* be his personality, which is ironically, some of the reasons why so many NBA fans (not just Jazz fans) love him. Defensively he was a surprisingly effective player, surprising because not many Yeti afflicted with ADHD even make it to the NBA. (That was a joke, I don't know if he has ADHD, and the lab report on him being a yeti hasn't come back yet).

I remember his first game in the NBA where he abused the Los Angeles Lakers and their Andrew Bynum in the paint. It was the first time Bynum played against someone his size, and Fes owned the paint in that game. I also remember the OT game against the Houston Rockets where he had a double double, 3 blocks and 2 assists off the bench against Yao Ming. I also remember in the VERY NEXT GAME two nights later he only played 1:46. So don't give me any guff about "if he played well he would have gotten playing time". What he did on the court had nothing to do with how he was treated by the coaches here. What he did on the court was help us win, like in that Playoff series against the Denver Nuggets when we were without two starters, and pulled off the upset. And how can anyone forget the Miracle in Miami? Against the Heat Jerry Sloan was forced into benching Al Jefferson, who was the guy in the middle protecting the rim from dribble penetration? It was Fesenko. And he did a great job in that game. Paul Millsap won it, but Fesenko helped get us in it with his defense. Fes could have been great HERE, but there were a lot of factors which prevented it from happening - many are on him, but let's not forget there are many that should be played on the Jazz as well. (It takes two sides, or one cocaine habit, to ruin a career - right Len Bias?)

Regardless of what happened, I think we will all love Kyrylo Fesenko. Fes was a great person to cheer for. He dunked hard, and he said the best things in interviews. Our resident media guru Moni made this video a while back.

It's just amazing. Like Fesenko. (Who, with the Indiana Pacers went to Disneyworld and took pictures with Mickey Mouse ears on and the same night got into a street fight outside of a night club. How Fesenko is that?)

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