Last week, after 13 seasons in the NBA, Andrei Kirilenko aka AK-47, quietly announced his retirement. For those who don’t know much about the man, here’s the only 3 things you need to know to know why he was so unique.
- He looks like Ivan Drago from Rocky IV
- His wife allows him to be with another women for 1 day out of each year
- He was an underrated player and a fantasy beast who was one of the the biggest 5×5 threats to ever play in the NBA.
So how rare is the 5×5? It’s only been done 6 times in the past 20 years and AK is responsible for 3 of them. The last time being in 2006 and since then, only one player has accomplished it: Nic Batum in 012.
Here’s the fantasy winning stat lines from AK’s three 5×5 games
- 2003: 19 points 5 rebounds 7 assists 5 blocks 8 steals
- 2003: 10 points 12 rebounds 6 assists 5 blocks 6 steals
- 2006: 14 points 8 rebounds 9 assists 7 blocks 6 steals
Here’s a few other great stat lines from the first player in NBA history to ever finish in the top 4 in blocks and steals per game.
- 2005: 15 points 14 rebounds 3 assists 10 blocks 3 steals
- 2005: 18 points 16 rebounds 11 assists 4 blocks 3 steals
- 2004: 11 points 14 rebounds 7 assists 7 blocks
- 2005: 21 points 16 rebounds 3assists 8 blocks 2 steals
- 2004: 27 points 14 rebounds 3 assists 5 blocks 3 steals
- 2007: 20 points 11 rebounds 11 assists 6 steals 4 blocks
In a recent Q&A with Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey, Dennis said he was proud of AK being a part of Jazz history and that the doors are open for him to rejoin the organization “at a small level or at a big level.”
When asked about AK’s legacy, Dennis said “I think Andrei was a Jazz version of Scottie Pippen in many ways.”
Which is very interesting especially if you consider Pippen was quoted this weekend as saying he “was LeBron before LeBron” so if we buy that comparison, can we say AK was the Utah Version of LeBron James? I wont go there but wherever AK goes I wish him luck.