As a writer, I’m not really supposed to have favorite players. But I can’t help but love Andrei Kirilenko. When he was a young player, he played the most exciting brand of defense in the league. His play on offense is unselfish, diverse, and explosive. There have been five “5 x 5” games since 1995, and Kirilenko has 3 of them. His wife had the greatest quote on being the wife of a professional athlete ever. He told John Amaechi that Amaechi could bring his boyfriend to Kirilenko’s Christmas party if he wanted to. He may well have chosen his number so that he could have his nickname be “AK-47.”
And with a new giant tattoo that covers most of Kirilenko’s back and seems to feature a knight riding some sort of mythical winged beast, the legend of Kirilenko’s awesomeness continues to grow. It’s early, but this may well end up being the single most insane tattoo of the off-season. Shine on, Andre Kirilenko. Shine on.