The Salt Lake Tribune’s Phil Miller on how Andrei Kirilenko plans to cope with his new, Rip Hamilton-style mask.

“Man in Iron Mask. Jason. Mike Myers. And now me,” Kirilenko (above) joked, ticking off some famous mask-wearers of cinema history. “You remember guys in masks.”

He’s going to have to make this month a memorable one, though, because Kirilenko doesn’t intend to wear the clear-plastic guard over his face for long. After another week or two – perhaps three or four preseason games, he figures – the Russian forward will decide his broken nose, suffered at the European Championships last month, will be healed.

And then? “Maybe eBay,” he laughed. “It’s good for my memorabilia collection.”

Kirilenko said he had considered painting the clear mask, molded from his face, to look like a superhero, though he is worried about cutting down his peripheral vision. And he is mulling various hairstyles that work with the strap that goes over the top of his head, he said.

The mask fits well, now that the eyeholes have been cut bigger, though it still restricts his breathing slightly. “But I can’t breathe in my nose right now anyway,” he said.