As some of you may know, I'm a pretty devoted Utah Jazz fan (I even confess to believing that the Jazz are on the cusp of doing well this season when they've hovered at .500 for most of it). Fan that I am, I often poke around the internet for updates since the team doesn't get much press in the DC Metro area. This week I didn't have to poke around far before bumping into something pretty startling:
Soft-spoken, hard-working, and all-around good guy Andrei Kirilenko and his wife Masha revealed to ESPN the Magazine recently that Masha gives him an "allowance" to be unfaithful with one woman during each basketball season. The biggest shock of all is that the permission was unsolicited; apparently Masha just dropped the bombshell. Kirilenko said it came as a complete surprise to him personally. Her rationale? "What's forbidden is always desirable. And athletes, particularly men, are susceptible to all the things they are offered... It's the same way raising children - If I tell my child, 'No pizza, no pizza, no pizza,' what does he want more than anything? Pizza."
The admission has, not suprisingly, garnered a healthy bit of press. The Washington Post's Michael Wilbon dubbed Ms. Kirilenko "the coolest wife in the world." Me... I'm personally dumbfounded. It just comes off as so carnal and unseemly. I'm really not sure what to make of it since I've always admired AK. True to form, however, he did temper this news in my view by making it clear that he doesn't plan on exercising this "allowance." His wife simply said "If you want to do it, you can do it."
With that in mind, one might argue that Masha's "no pizza" rationale seems to be working. I'm still a big skeptic however. While I take the man at his word about the "allowance," I say that Kirilenko is not your average "child." I like to think that he'd be faithful regardless. I could be wrong though. Who knows, maybe Kiri's enjoying a slice of thick-crust deep dish pizza topped with pepperoni and extra cheese right now, all with the permission of his loving wife.