There’s this thing posted on Deadspin from a couple days ago that every Wolves fan should take a peek at and get a chuckle or a sigh. Or I could just link it here:
I don’t know what’s got Suns coach Lindsey Hunter so mystified about that particular play because all you can see from the game flow is the score and that the game is out of hand in the beginning of the 4th quarter. The frustration with Michael Beasley — from a Wolves fan’s perspective — is that long pull-up jumper off a high screen is just about the most miserable shot in all of basketball (save a Luke pull-up jumper with 21 seconds remaining on the shot clock) and it also happens to be Beasley’s favorite shot of all. That, in itself, would be a frustrating thing to witness repeatedly if that player weren’t also capable of doing this:
Instead of wallowing in the sadness of the Phoenix Suns situation, let us purify ourselves in the present. Because although Beasley didn’t actually start for the Wolves at small forward for the majority of last year, in essence Wesley Johnson and Michael Beasley have been replaced with Andrei Kirilenko this year.
I’m reminded of this song by Quasi:
Earlier this month, Joan Niesen wrote about AK’s career for Grantland, and put it thusly:
In Utah, Kirilenko was entrenched in Sloan’s basketball order, one that he now describes as something of a machine. “Everything we’d do on the floor was planned,” he says. “Like, it’s … a mechanism. You go this way. He’s going this way. If the pass goes this way, you go this way.” Since joining the injury-ridden Timberwolves, Kirilenko has embraced Rick Adelman’s freewheeling system and has used it to become one of the few bright spots in what looks to be another lost season in Minnesota.
When he got to Minnesota, there was, as there is with any new job, a process of feeling out his role. In defining it, Kirilenko has adopted a new favorite word: helpful. It’s how he describes his play, his goals, his basketball ethos. He has no driving urge to score, no real desire to lead the team in any category. He just wants to be helpful, he says, over and over. He wants to grab a rebound here, help on defense there, maybe take a shot if he’s really, truly the best option.