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Andrei Kirilenko listed among eligible Hall of Fame nominees

Could AK47 be the next Jazz player to make the Hall?

Utah Jazz v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced their eligible candidates for the 2024 nominees. Among the long list was Utah Jazz legend Andrei Kirilenko. From Russia with love, Kirilenko spent 10 of his 13 NBA seasons with the Utah Jazz. He was the first Russian player selected in the first round of an NBA draft and the youngest European player ever chosen in the NBA draft. Kirilenko was named to the All-Rookie First Team, then continued to rack up accolades with one All-Star appearance and three NBA All-Defensive Team selections, as well as being the league’s leader in blocks in 2005-06.

Kirilenko was a unique player. He was famous for his roaming defense, flashy passes, and long-armed athleticism. His all-around capabilities separated him from the crowd. Kirilenko is famously one of only two players in NBA history with multiple “5x5” games, meaning games in which a player records at least five points, five rebounds, five assists, five steals, and five blocks. Hakeem Olajuwon’s six times leads NBA history, while Kirilenko’s three times takes second place.

In addition to his NBA resume, Kirilenko had an impressive international career. During the NBA lockout, Kirilenko led CSKA Moscow to the EuroLeague final and was named both the EuroLeague MVP and Best Defensive Player in 2011-12. Kirilenko won a Eurobasket title with Russia, as well as a bronze medal. He was named Eurobasket MVP and was twice named to the All-Tournament team.

Kirilenko was elected president of the Russian Basketball Federation in 2015 and was re-elected to the post in August 2020.

For a complete list of eligible nominees and more details about the nomination process, check the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame site here.