I can’t understand why people complain about AK’s contract. Is he overpaid for the role that he currently has on the Jazz? Sure. But he signed that contract back when he was the future and new face of the post-StocktontoMalone Jazz, after a season in which the Jazz were widely expected to set the new worst record in the history of the league and instead, led by AK, went 42-40 in its first year of the rebuilding era, and only three months after KOC signed FB and Memo.
If you think about the massive egos that exist in the NBA and probably all professional sports, I think Andrei has adjusted to his new role admirably. Yes, he had that breakdown in Houston, but he went from being the team’s first option, not to mention an All-Star and making the All-Defense Team, to the fourth option on his own team. Not only that, he was suddenly being forced to play out of position. All this happened basically overnight. In April, the season ended on a surprising high note with the Jazz wildly exceeding all expectations. In July, FB and Memo joined the Jazz.
Throw in the fact that it certainly wasn’t his choice to be relegated to this role, and the fact that he is used to being the number one option on his national team, and I can only say that he made the transition well.
AK is a wholly unique player with a wholly unique skillset, and there are not that many players out there that can do what he does. The current Jazz system and FB’s presence on the team do not allow him to be the player that he is/can be–and I don’t think that his best years are behind him just yet–but he’s dealing with it, and doing a good job of it. So cut him some slack.
Public Service Announcement:
Henceforth, FB will sometimes be referred to in this space as “The Mata_or” (he has no D). Ole!
[Hopefully he will be gone soon, and I can stop talking about him. And AK will be back at the 4 and the world will be a shiny happy place.]