Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Utah Jazz center Mehmet Okur and Andrei Kirilenko have developed a close relationship since becoming teammates 3 years ago. Now Memo has issued a statement regarding the trade demands issued by his close friend, wishing for the best for both sides involved.
The following statement can be found on memo's website, www.memo13.com
"Andrei had a tremendous championship in Spain and I was very happy for him. He is a very good friend. It is also a pleasure as a basketball player to play on the same team with him. I have been following the developments from the press. I believe that people have to respect his opinion that the Utah system no longer is a good fit for him. I think the fact that he has said that he would agree to rework his contract shows his determination. Andrei is a very important player that has been an All-Star. However some times the system might not fit a player and vice versa and you might not be a ble to get the production from the player you had hoped for. I believe Andrie will sit down with the Jazz management and they will decide for whatever is the best in the interest of all parties involved.".
Memo continued by adding "Utah system is one that has worked for many many years. After I came to Utah, in coach Jerry Sloan's system I grew and developed as a player. I became an All-Star in this system. When I go back and look over the last three seasons, each season has been different from the previous one and I had to make some adjustments, and something to my game. Andrei is a player who is always thinking of his team. I believe he did his very best for the adjustments in his changing role for the benefit of the team. I think he must really believe that he is now at a point where he can't go further. My family and I love Salt Lake City. We love Andrei and his family. However it is the most important goal for us to carry the results from last season a step or two further up. If we wear different uniforms with Andrei, it will not effect our friendship negatively in any way, it will also be the same way in that the possibility of him not being here will not change my feelings for the Jazz and my dedication to that goal. I wish that whatever is in the best interest and future of both sides will happen.".
Memo, finally added that once everybody comes together for the preparations for the upcoming season, he still had hope of a solution that might please everybody.
Jazz media day is next Monday, October 1st. The Jazz report for training camp in Boise on October 2nd.