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Utah Jazz to recognize Andrei Kirilenko during Los Angeles Lakers game

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The Utah Jazz have announced that they will be recognizing forward Andrei Kirilenko at halftime of the Los Angeles Lakers game that will take place at the Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 28th. From their press release:

SALT LAKE CITY (March 23, 2016) - The Utah Jazz, as part of the team's alumni program, will recognize former player Andrei Kirilenko for his achievements during his Jazz career that spanned a decade (2001-2011) when the team faces the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, March 28.

During his visit, Kirilenko will sign autographs pregame outside of the main Fanzz store on the concourse of Vivint Smart Home Arena, participate in a live social media Q&A with UtahJazz.com where he will answer fan-submitted questions, appear on the Jazz Game Night Pregame Show and in-game broadcast on ROOT SPORTS as well as the in-game radio broadcast on The Zone Sports Network. There will also be an on-court presentation to Kirilenko in the second quarter of Monday's game.

Drafted by Utah with the 24th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, Kirilenko is among all-time franchise leaders in a variety of categories, ranking: second in blocks (1,380), tied for fourth in seasons played (10), fourth in steals (960), fifth in assists (1,919), fifth in minutes (20,989), sixth in points (8,411), seventh in rebounds (3,836) and seventh in games played (681).

A 2004 NBA All-Star, Kirilenko remains one of only 12 players in league history to register a "5X5" game, a feat he reached three times with the Jazz, producing at least five points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals in a single game. Kirilenko and Hakeem Olajuwon remain the only players to register multiple 5X5 games.

Kirilenko, who announced his retirement from professional basketball this past summer, was named president of the Russian Basketball Federation in August. An active member in the community both in Utah and his native Russia, Kirilenko established, "Kirilenko's Kids," which benefits a variety of causes, focusing on orphanages and children's hospitals. Locally he worked with many organizations including Huntsman Cancer Institute and Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Former Jazzmen who have returned recently as part of the team's alumni program for visits and to assist the Jazz "Doing Good" community initiatives include: Thurl Bailey, Antoine Carr, Darrell Griffith, Frank Layden, Mehmet Okur, Jerry Sloan and the 1984 "Team With Heart" playoff squad.

- Utah Jazz, NBA.com, 2016

I'm overjoyed by this news, AK-47 is one of my favorite athletes in the world, and is actually my second favorite Utah Jazz player. (Fight me.) I am happy that they are finally recognizing how amazing he was. I am utterly baffled by the fact that this is just a "2nd quarter" (not even halftime) presentation -- and not an actual Jersey retirement.

I think that it is numerically obvious that his number should be retired up there next to Garth Brooks. Having a 2nd quarter ceremony for this guy seems like one step above a 1st quarter ceremony, which itself is one step above not even having one.

Dude. (NSFW rap lyrics)

Regardless, I'm glad that the Jazz will bring him back. I hope that they do at a later date retire his jersey. he deserves it. As for this game, it'll be on Monday after this road trip is finally over. And it'll be against the Lakers. It will be Kobe Bryant's last game in the #801.

Let's give him another Loss. Andrei knows all about that.

Basketball John points out that these tickets are . . . flying.

So let's get loud / be proud / feel the pure adrenaline rush once more for the AK-47.