Are you considering options with other NBA teams? I will consider any option, but Utah still have priority. Iíve spent ten years with this team, it feels like my home. Sometimes I meet American fans and at first they say to me: ęHey, why donít you move to our team?Ľ But then they go like: ęHmm, listen, it will be some kind of a strange thing, we canít imagine you out of Utah, and you are associated with them onlyĽ.
It will be also hard to switch teams from my familyís point of view who have got used to this city, we have settled well there. Even if there will be an offer from a contender, such as the Lakers or Boston, it would be quite hard to come there when everything is ready. There is a difference between going all the way with the team and joining is a team who are already prepared to battle for the title. I would get more excited, if I won the league with Utah. The ring isnít an end in itself for me. In situations like that everybody is happy, but you understand: ęDamn, thereís still something wrong about itĽ. Sports.ru
Are you are going to continue your career in Europe? Andrei Kirilenko: Itís mostly out of my hands and depends on the teams that would like to have me in their squad and are ready to make an offer. I wouldnít like to lose my shape if the lockout lasts for a long time.
Now I feel well, by the time the European championship starts we will be at our peak Ė and it would be embarrassing to stop playing right afterwards. Even if you train constantly, itís not the same thing. Where will I play? Most likely, in Russia. Iím only interested in two teams: CSKA Moscow and Spartak St. Petersburg. Iím highly respectful of all the others, but I began my career at Spartak and played for CSKA, so it will be logical if I play for them. Sports.ru
How can Spartak St. Petersburg attract Andrey Kirilenko? They wonít even play in the EuroLeague. Andrei Kirilenko: I donít care about the European cups at all; itís my native team, thatís it. If I returned to play in Russia, I would do that with my native team, not the one that has bigger ambitions and wants to win something.
Anyway, I will try to make it so that my team would play as good as possible. But I will repeat, nothing is clear yet, now itís all at еру negotiations stage, a lot of options have to be taken into account. Even without a contract, I am still in the NBA system, and itís a little bit hard for the teams to sign a player knowing that he will leave in 2 or 3 months. Sports.ru
Spanish football player Joseba Etxeberria came back to Athletic Bilbao to play for free. Would you agree to that for the sake of your native team? Andrei Kirilenko: Such things happen, when a playerís career is in decline. I can only one say one thing: money is not that important. If Spartak-Primorye [a Vladivostok-based club Ė Sports.ru] approached me and said: ęAndrey, weíll give you 10 million a year, come play for us,Ľ I would think it over three hundred times. Because money isnít the only thing that matters.
Itís too far for my family, it would be inconvenient for me, my children would have to get used to a new school, I would feel uncomfortable with constant flights to and fro, I donít want to live away from my family... So, you see, thatís what I meant when a spoke about a lot of finer points.Ľ Sports.ru
Do you still have a motivation or youíre already done? (фанат баскетбола) Andrei Kirilenko: Of course, I have! Speaking about basketball, I think I have enough gasoline to go for another 3 or 4 years.
After that my physical conditions wonít allow me to match the level. Iíve already started noticing it. I need additional efforts to play in defense. It used to be easy, but now I feel I need to force myself to train more. I never did it until I turned 25, maybe, on some rare occasions. But now I understand that if I donít train today, tomorrow I will simply stop running at some moment. Sports.ru
What is most amusing trophy on this shelf at your place? Andrei Kirilenko: There is a cup which, to tell the truth, I have stolen. CSKA were taking part in the Real Madrid Cup in Spain.
We defeated the hosts and as I was the youngest in the team, Sergey Panov gave the huge cup to me, telling that I ought to carry it and then pass it to him personally when we arrive at the hotel. However, later he forgot about it and I took the cup to my place. Then we agreed that I should bring it to the training, but this time my memory let me down. So itís still standing in my house. Sports.ru