Andrei Kirilenko holds no ill will toward Dirk Nowitzki for the flagrant foul he committed Monday night, one that cost Kirilenko a sprained right hip and Nowitzki a one-game suspension sans pay.
"I don't really think he did it for, like, mean purpose," said Kirilenko, who was injured in the first quarter of the Jazz's win Monday over the Mavericks. "Probably because of the situation he already lost the position, he was trying to stop somehow.
"It happens in the game," added Kirilenko, who thought Nowitzki was off-balance on the play. "I'm not looking (for) revenge."
Kirilenko, the Jazz's starting small forward, sat out Wednesday's win over Minnesota. He also said Wednesday he will not travel with the team today to Phoenix, where Utah faces the Suns on Friday.
Beyond that, it's unknown how long the 2004 NBA All-Star from Russia will be out.
"It's a tough question," Kirilenko said. "I never have hip injury before. So I really don't have an answer. But I don't think it's going to be a long time."
X-rays taken Monday at Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful were negative, as was an MRI exam performed Tuesday.
Nowitzki, who apologized to Kirilenko shortly after committing the foul, was suspended one game by the NBA on Wednesday. The league's reigning MVP will sit out Dallas' game tonight against division rival Houston.
He will lose more than $148,000 from his approximately $16.36 million in annual salary.
"For us, as a player, we don't like (when) people get suspended," Kirilenko said. "Because it takes money away from the player. But it is what it is. I'm not looking for more games to suspend, or less. Not my job."
Nowitzki also had his foul, originally called a Flagrant Penalty 1, upgraded to a Flagrant Penalty 2 upon further review by the league.
It was his first flagrant this season.
A flagrant-2 is defined as "unnecessary and excessive contact" and results in automatic ejection when called during a game.
Factors considered for reclassification include, according to the NBA, "how hard the foul was ... and the level of the injury sustained by the player."
A flagrant-2 results in two penalty points, as opposed to one. If a player's season total for penalty points exceeds five, he will receive an automatic suspension in the following game and a suspension for each additional flagrant foul after that.
"I think we have a good rule," NBA commissioner David Stern, coincidentally in town for Wednesday's game, said when asked about the suspension. "We review it, and if we get it wrong (during the game) we upgrade it."
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, who didn't think there was malicious intent, had little reaction.
"That's the decision they made," he said. "I mean, you can talk about it 'yeah, nay, whatever.' But bottom line is that's what it is. Everybody has to live with it. We have to live with the fact (Kirilenko's) not playing, and they have to do the same (for Nowitzki)."
Kirilenko was yanked to the floor by Nowitzki, in clothesline fashion, after he rose for a layup attempt. He fell hard, and at it first it was uncertain precisely what he'd hurt.
"It looked like it could have been really serious. You never know with something like that," teammate Kyle Korver said. "I mean, it looked like when he went down he could have hurt a number of things. So, hopefully he's only out a game or two."
"We have guys that will step in and replace him, and but it's hard to replace A.K.," power forward Carlos Boozer added. "We hope he heals up fast and gets back out there."
Even Kirilenko, whose spot in Utah's opening lineup was filled Wednesday by sporadically used reserve swingman C.J. Miles, wasn't sure what happened.
"I feel like I hit my butt, my elbows," he said. "I feel like my leg went one way, my body other way, and I feel, like, very sharp pain in the groin. That was the main thing."
It seemed even worse after watching a replay."It looked nasty," said Kirilenko, who managed to make two resulting free throws before being carted off to the hospital. "Probably the falling down wasn't too bad, but the grabbing on the neck was kind of not good."
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