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Utah Jazz 2010 Media Day Megapost: Returnees Part 1

September 28, 2010

I was so happy to see Andrei Kirilenko at Media Day. Even as I kept thinking to myself, “Dude, your hair is terrible,” happiness just kept washing over me in waves.

AK’s hair has gone from bad to worse. He is now sporting Cheryl from Dancing with the Stars’ hair (I know there’s something wrong with the punctuation there), a style which I’ve seen referred to as “mophead.” And he looks like Shaggy.

But who cares…AK’s here, and I literally could. not. be. happier. Seriously, it’s all rainbows and sunny days over here. Anyway, I imagine that some of you out there don’t care for hair talk, so moving on…

Coach: [re roster turnover] “I always believe you can win. If you don’t have the attitude that you think you can win, why be in it? … Our job doesn’t change. You can talk about who’s supposed to be here and who’s doing what. Bottom line is our coaching staff has got to do the best we can to try to be competitive, whoever we coach. No excuses, just go play.”

–[When he went back to his farm] “We had a 50th class reunion which was quite revealing. I didn’t know I looked so bad. I thought I was going to look better than everybody but I looked like I was 90 years older than everybody.”

–He was elated to go back to the Hall of Fame (for Karl) and not have to make a speech or do anything else.

–“I was shocked [by Jeremy Evans’ artistic talent] and I was really excited for him because he’s a wonderful guy. He works hard, he’s got some talent, and it’ll be fun to watch him grow.”

–“[The players] have been playing pickup games. Watching them a little bit here and there, they play their pickup games about as hard as anybody I’ve had.”

Returnees Part 1

Deron: “Raja’s definitely going to help us defensively. Hopefully, his mentality will rub off on some of the younger guys…CJ, Gordon…makes them tougher, makes them compete harder.”

–[You like that thought of what you saw in the papers (regarding AK trade)?]* “I didn’t see the paper. I don’t read papers. You know that.”

*Did that guy seriously ask if Deron likes the idea of AK being traded? Am I hearing him wrong?

–[Is AK underrated in the way he’s able to change games?] “Definitely. I don’t think there’s anybody on the team that can do the things he does. Pass the ball, with his height, with his skillset, block shots…he brings a different set of intangibles than anybody on this team.”

–[You spent the summer in a new location…] (sarcastic) “Dallas, apparently.”

–[What was your best foursome of the summer?]: “I had two good ones…might’ve been just three. Me, Jarron [Collins], and Memo played, and then me, Mo Williams, and Memo played one day…and then the day before I left, me, Mo and David Justice played. He was one of my favorite baseball players growing up, so that was cool.”*

*In case anyone needs clarification, they were talking about golf.

–“I’m really impressed with Jeremy Evans. Really, really impressed. (Deron was apparently the fourth Jazzman to say that.) He just needs to add 20 lbs., and he’ll be a monster. Oh my gosh. I’ve never seen anyone jump like that. He jumps so quick. He goes after the ball. Just ridiculous. … It’s like he can jump three times before you jump once.”

A much better angle

AK: [Do you think you’ll be wearing a Jazz uniform the next couple of days?] “I hope so…look, for the last ten years, there’s so many rumors [about] me, so I can end up with any team in the NBA, but I’m still a Jazzman.”

“I don’t want to be traded, I’m not traded, I’m in a Jazz uniform, so that’s the bottom line.” / “My kids (are) growing up here. My family set some roots here and I don’t want to be traded. I want to be here, and I want to be part of the Jazz. I have so many friends who are cheering for the Jazz. I don’t want to let them down.”

–AK left his family in France and returned to Russia by himself a month ago to train with his coach.

–[Does the prospect of playing more “4” excite you?] (laughs) “I always said Coach Sloan doesn’t have to ask me to stay on the floor on 3, [he can] just tell me, ‘Andrei, you’re ‘4’ today.’ So it’s simple as that. I can play 2, 3, 4 in almost any game in the NBA, depends on the team.”

–[Do you have a preference?] “No, I don’t have preference. The beauty of the team is when you see the other team and work it out. If they have Tim Duncan, probably not a good idea to put me on the 4, but for other guys you can be faster, you can be stronger, you can be more versatile, so it depends on the [opponent], you can prepare for them.”

Fes: “Deep, deep in my heart I’m a Jazzman. All this summer, I knew I was going to come back. I couldn’t imagine my career without Jerry.

–“My goal was never being [a] backup … It’s a new team. Everybody will have the same chances. I’ll fight for the starting spot and we’ll see what’s going to happen. … It’s coach’s call; I’m here to play.”

–Fes has lost 25 lbs. Oh, and he has a pretty smile (pictured above):


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