Yesterday, multiple sources announced that one of Jazz fans' favorite players of the post-Stockton/Malone era has decided to end his professional basketball playing career.
Andrei Kirilenko played professional basketball for 19 years, including 13 seasons in the NBA. This is probably why he seems like he is older than he actually is. He's only 34! Born the same year as Boozer and a year younger than Pau Gasol, Andrei could have played a couple more seasons if he wanted to.
Kirilenko played for the Jazz for 10 of those seasons and finished in the all-time Jazz franchise ranks in all 5 of the major categories. He finished 6th all-time in points, 7th in rebounds, 5th in assists, 4th in steals, and 2nd in blocks for the Jazz. He was also 5th in minutes in case you were wondering.
A true Jazzman great, and a Jazzman through and through.
Coach Sloan and him were really the only reasons to watch the Jazz from 2004 to 2006. Thanks for all the excitement you gave this franchise Andrei!
In honor of Andrei, this downbeat will be dedicated to him
Man, go ahead and do yourselves all a favor and watch these mixes!
(Pardon the NSFW rap lyrics)
It's easy to take for granted, but wow, Kirilenko was such an amazing player in his prime!
Another Kirilenko tidbit for you all, how many of you knew that Kirilenko has a tatted-up back?
That's right, he has himself a tattoo as creepy and intimidating as one of his signature blocks, take a look for yourself!
Source: CBS Sports
Our very own AK47 was such a unique talent to the league.
Who could forget how he led the league in blocks with 3.3 per game a decade ago?
Who has the most 5 by 5's in the league in the last 20 years? That's right again! Andrei Kirilenko recorded at least 5 of each of the major categories in a game 3 times in his career. He did so twice within an 8 day span back in December 2003 at an age younger than our current wing Gordon Hayward now.
Another thing AK did as a 22 year old that none of our current team has achieved yet was make the all star team as our exciting, explosive young star!
Lastly, in honor of Andrei Kirilenko, take a gander at his hairstyle evolution over his nba career!
I'm sure I missed a few gems, feel free to add your own favorite pictures of Andrei in the comments!
Let's hear it from everybody who loved Kirilenko! Thanks for all the great memories!