What was your welcome-to-the-NBA moment?
First day of practice [in 2001], I said, "Hello, I'm Andrei." He said, "Hello, I'm John." I said, "I know." I think, This is one of the greatest superstars ever, this is John Stockton, and he's on the same court. He treats me normal.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
My injuries. When I sprained my knee [in '04, causing me to miss 26 games], I sat there thinking, Get up, get up. You're hurting the team.
What's one thing about being in the NBA that people don't think about?
They think we have all the time for fun, it's a colorful life. But it's not true. Every day is next, next, next, always travel. Go to city, play, next city. There is no time. And there is pain. When we travel, maybe my back is sore and I can't sit. My legs go arrrgh. I have cuts and scratches.
If I weren't in the NBA, I'd ...
definitely be an athlete, probably football. Not American football, real football. Played with foot.
The 24-year-old Kirilenko, second in the NBA with blocks (86), had a season-high 25 points against the Heat.
The Jazz (19-18) play in Denver on Friday and host the Cavs on Saturday.
MICHAEL PIMENTEL/ICON SMI (KIRILENKO IN ACTION)
DOUGLAS C. PIZAC/AP (KIRILENKO HEADSHOT)