“Nobody said it’s going to be cheese on a plate” — Andrei Kirilenko
When Andrei dropped this classic line, back in May, about wanting to win an NBA championship, Jazz fans everywhere were on his side. We could feel his pain. With each errant airball and with every awkward drive to the basket, we were rooting for him. We all wanted the cheese on a plate. We wanted to watch him gorge on the cheese, with a big old cheese-eating grin. Provolone, cheddar, you name it. A whole industrial-sized vat full of Velveeta poured over his spiky faux-hawk, by delirious Jazz fans and teammates, while fireworks and confetti rain down from the rafters. Well, we now know he wasn’t referring to the American cheese variety. That’s right. AK wants to pack up his ball, and his 47, and pull a reverse Captain Ramius, of Red October fame, and defect back to the Motherland.
“As you cooked the borscht, so must you eat it” — ancient Russian proverb
If I am anything, I am a connoisseur of old Russian proverbs (or at least, Google) and many of them spring to mind when contemplating the latest drama emanating from Kirilenko. The very minute that Andrei signed his mondo-max deal, he began to “cook the borscht”, to the tune of 86 million dollars (or 2.15 billion rubles) and he should have set his gold-plated timer for 2011. Last time I checked it was 2007 and his, once warmed, borscht is now just cold beet soup. To loosely paraphrase Pink Floyd, “ How can you have any cheese, if you don’t eat your borscht?”
“In America, you watch television. In Soviet Russia, television watches you” —Yakov Smirnoff
That’s right. We are dusting off the old-school Yakov Smirnoff jokes. Since Kirilenko chose to give his interview with the Russian newspaper Sport Express in Russian, we are left to interpret what he meant, literally. After running his lengthy manifesto thru the on-line translator Babel Fish, here is a portion of what it belched out….“But indeed when signed contract, future was seen entirely in other light - that I will play, conquer and obtain pleasure from this. Alas, now, about this there can be no discussion. Even in the successful matches. This sensation, most disgusting. By the way, my frequent injuries recently, also the consequence of this moral break.”….Give me a “moral break” Andrei! And yes, this sensation, most disgusting!
“Any sandpiper is great in his own swamp” — ancient Russian proverb
Kirilenko’s break-out year was 2004 and that coincided with the Jazz’ having their worst record in 23 years. The Jazz were definitely the swamp that year and Andrei was Head Sandpiper. Andrei, apparently, has a hankering for those good old days. For the rest of us? Not so much. Lenin’s system, as well as Sloan’s, preaches against ‘exalting the individual’ which, from a pure basketball standpoint, is how it has to be. Andrei was also quoted as saying “I can feel that my country needs me now”. So, either he is (A) going to be Vladimir Putin’s newest Secretary of Defense. (B) designing the newest Sputnik, or (C) having delusions of grandeur and might be better off back in the warm grasp of his Motherland. And the correct answer is (C), and if he can find his proverbial cheese plate special over there, I bet its Limburger.