Kirilenko: Stop Tanking It, and Stop Asking for a Trade

I really used to love to watch Andre Kirilenko play for the Utah Jazz. Now I feel sort of sorry for him, because he's not much fun to watch anymore. It's not simply the game of basketball, but it's also the downfall of a great player. The key to the resurgence of Andre Kirilenko is Andre Kirilenko.

It came out during a very inopportune time for the Utah Jazz last year--right in the middle of the NBA playoffs, AK47 aired his dirty laundry. He wasn't getting as much playing time, and so he wanted to be traded to a team that appreciated him more. The problem is it will be hard for any other team to appreciate him enough to pay his salary. Yet still he remains vocal in his demand to leave Utah. Most NBA franchise cities would say "Don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out of town." But somehow Utah is different. Despite his whining, we still love Andre.

It happens all the time--superstar gets the contract of a lifetime, then his performance goes in the tank because he doesn't have to prove anything anymore. It has been roughly since the time Andre got his gigantic contract that his performance went downhill. Sure, there are other factors, including new personalities on the team, but the only one that Andre can blame for his predicament is looking at him every time he stares into the mirror.

Andre may likely play better under a new system, actually, but likely it would only be to show his (potentially) former team what they were missing. No, AK, we already know what we're missing. Running the floor like a gazelle in perfect position for a transition shot, the high flying dunks, the shot blocks that continued to us to seem impossible, yet you made still them. We've seen it before. Where did all that go?

C'mon Andre. Stop tanking it. And stop asking for a trade.

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