Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko plans to return to his native country if the NBA locks out its players when the collective bargaining agreement expires June 30.
Kirilenko initially said during the early part of the 2010-11 season that he would consider playing in Russia if a lockout occurred. But he acknowledged at the time that he would have to weigh his health and long-term future with a desire to return to his homeland. However, the 10-year Jazzman said Wednesday prior to tipoff against the New York Knicks that there is no question he will cross the globe to play basketball if the NBA has a widely predicted work stoppage.
"If lockout happens, I will definitely go back to Russia and play on Russian team," said Kirilenko, who added that his new United States citizenship has no bearing on his basketball-related future.