"If people think they should cheer, they should cheer," he said. "If they feel the need to boo, they should boo. I know one thing: When I was here I played hard, I tried my best. If some nights I did not be at that level, well, sorry."
Actually, he was at that level in the first quarter, racking up six points, five rebounds, an assist and two blocks. You could picture the stat keepers clapping. He followed a missed shot for a score, slipped behind DeMarre Caroll to deflect a shot, flicked a one-handed assist to Nikola Pekovic for a layup.
It didn't last, as he finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Still, Kirilenko is playing his best basketball since 2005-06 and having his best-shooting year ever. He has six double-doubles this season, 85 in his career. He is six assists and two steals away from becoming the 15th player in league history to record 2,000 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 blocks.
All of which he handled on Wednesday with a customary shrug. Part of the job, he said, part of what he did for Utah for a decade.
"I played 10 years, every year, different role," he said. "Right now I play pretty good basketball and I'm very happy in my role."
His role as both a good guy and a box score freak?
It's still making people do a double take.
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