While some would have you believe Greg Oden pulled a Joel Zumaya, here’s a hoops story that should reverberate on two continents. OK, maybe one. From the Salt Lake Tribune’s Ross Siler and Michael Nakoryakov :
Barely 48 hours after leading Russia to gold at the European championships in Spain, Kirilenko wrote in a blog post on the Russian Web site Sport Today that he was ready to leave Utah after six seasons.
“In a week, I need to join the Utah Jazz again, but quite frankly, I’m not really happy about that,” wrote Kirilenko, who was named MVP of the EuroBasket tournament. “The past season was bad for me and I was really disappointed.
“I’ve thought about it a lot and I came to a decision. I want to leave Utah Jazz. The European championships that just ended became sort of a test for me and now I think I know what I want to do.”
Kirilenko also revealed that he approached Kevin O’Connor, the Jazz’s senior vice president of basketball operations, a few weeks ago and asked to be traded. O’Connor did not return multiple messages Tuesday night.
A source close to Kirilenko said he did not believe such a conversation with O’Connor took place. But Kirilenko wrote that he hadn’t heard anything back from O’Connor or the organization in a week, which he took as a sign of disrespect.
“There’s no response negative or positive and this silence is just one more evidence of the way they treat me,” Kirilenko wrote. “Nevertheless, I’m really hopeful that Utah Jazz leadership will understand that our relationship is over and it’s time for us to part ways.”