In a Friday afternoon radio interview on 1280 The Zone, Williams (above) told Salt Lake Tribune columnist Gordon Monson and co-host Kevin Graham that Kirilenko can be “a special player for us” if he returns with the right attitude.
Referring to teammates Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur, Williams said, “You see Booz after practice shooting for 25 or 30 minutes. You see Memo shooting for 20 minutes. You see, you know, all the rookies. The young guys. You saw [Rafael Araujo] in there working. [Then] you see Andrei being the first one out the door.”
As the Jazz’s quarterback, Williams admitted he has looked for other targets with his passes because of Kirilenko’s approach to the game last season.
“If he’s coming off a screen on one side and Matt [Harpring] is coming off a screen on one side, who do you think you’re going to pass to?” Williams said.
“You think you’re going to pass to the guy you see working every day in the gym or are you going to pass to the guy who never works on his shot but yet wants to shoot ’em every time?”
Asked if Kirilenko’s work ethic was a problem, Williams said, “I would say so.”