by Marcel Mutoni

Saying that Andrei Kirilenko had a tough year in Utah last season is a lot like saying that Alberto Gonzalez is a liar: Both are gross understatements.

Regardless, the man who cried during last year’s Playoffs because he wasn’t getting enough playing time, and the same dude whose name was being floated in trade rumors, has got nothing but love for Utah and its Mormon population.

“On the contrary I like their way of life. I don’t smoke and don’t drink alcohol. I drink coffee very seldom, but can’t imagine my table without tea. And nobody forbids me to drink it at my convenience.”

Asked by Soviet Sport, “How can you tell a Mormon from a normal person?” Kirilenko responded, “There is no way. They don’t have any special distinctive marks or fragments of clothing that emphasizes their relationship to a religious group.”

“And one more thing about Mormons: They are absolutely peaceful people. They don’t agitate anyone and don’t force anyone into their faith.”

Couple of things:

1) I absolutely love translated interviews; it’s as if the people from the Deseret Morning News took Kirilenko’s Russian words, plugged them into freetranslation.com, and simply hoped for the best.

2) Kirilenko adds that, in spirit, he is a Mormon. I have no idea what that means, but I’m excited to find out.