Don Ryan, Associated Press
PORTLAND, Ore. Andrei Kirilenko reacted with shock and disbelief to an All-Star Weekend report on the Internet suggesting his wife, Masha, wants out of Utah.
"I want to tell you, that's bull," Kirilenko said Tuesday night in Portland.
According to author and FOXSports.com NBA analyst Charley Rosen, writing on the Web site: "Jazz-watchers are mystified by Kirilenko's subpar play so far this season. Not only are all of his numbers down, but he's complained loudly and in public about his not being involved in the offense. Here's what's really going on: AK's wife is miserably unhappy living in Salt Lake City, and she's been nagging him to find a way out of there. The only option they've come up with is to try to force a trade by being a malcontent. (Jazz owner) Larry Miller has been known to be impulsive, but so far (coach) Jerry Sloan has kept his boss from popping his cork. So far."
"This is not true," Kirilenko said before the Jazz's game against the Trail Blazers. "It is, like, unbelievable lie. Because, first of all, we built house. Secondary, Masha is opening her clothing store. It's not true at all."
A clothing-line company run by Kirilenko's wife, who is about eight months pregnant with the couple's second child, is under construction now at the Gateway shopping center in downtown Salt Lake City.
"Masha likes Salt Lake," Kirilenko said. "She probably doesn't weather in the winter, but the people ... we don't have any problem with."Kirilenko suggested he had no idea what inspired Rosen's report: "It surprises me. It couldn't be from the first hand, though. Somebody probably guessing."
HOT ROD HAPPY: A decision by the NBA Players Association to increase pension payments for its pre-1965 players means longtime Jazz play-by-play voice Hot Rod Hundley will get a bump from $1,200 a month to $1,800 a month plus a lump-sum catchup payment retroactive to July 1, 2005.
"I deserve it," a happy Hundley said. "I made $10,000 a year when I played. I had to wait until I'm 72 years (for the raise), but I'm happy about it. God bless the NBA."
Hundley's annual salaries when he played for the Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers from 1957-63 were $10,000 for the first four seasons, $11,000 for the fifth and $11,500 for the sixth a grand total of $62,500.
Some of Hundley's golfing buddies delivered the good news.
"They said, 'Congratulations you got a big increase, 50 percent, on your pension.' I said, 'Yeah.' They said, 'Not kidding you they announced it on TV and it was in the paper.' I said, 'Oh, my goodness.' "
What does Hundley have planned for his newfound riches?"I told Coach Sloan I may have to buy him a Coke," he said.
MISC.: Rookie Louis Amundson, signed Monday by the Jazz to a second 10-day contract, dressed for his first NBA game Tuesday. The University of Nevada-Las Vegas product took Williams' spot on the roster. Amundson was inactive for the three games during his first 10-day deal. ... After further review, the NBA downgraded to a regular foul what was originally a flagrant-2 fouled called Jazz big man Rafael Araujo when he clunked Atlanta's Marvin Williams on the nose last week. The Hawks called the play dirty and dangerous, but the league evidently did not agree. ... Jazz rookie and University of Illinois fan-favorite Dee Brown was spotted watching his old Illini club beat Northwestern on Sunday and wearing a replica Illinois jersey bearing ex-Illini and current Jazz teammate Deron Williams' name and old No. 5.
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