MINNEAPOLIS Andrei Kirilenko's toenails are painted a shiny, lacquered black. On his long, muscled back, he sports a massive, menacing tattoo depicting a warrior riding some kind of reptilian beast.
But Andrei Kirilenko also has an affinity for his small, rimless glasses, the kind your doctor or physics professor might favor. His dress shirt is buttoned and pressed pristinely, his answers polite, his basketball opinions informed, his smile easy.
Rules and assumptions do not apply to the 31-year-old Russian. Convention would say that at his age, after a year out of the NBA playing a far easier schedule, Kirilenko would be rusty, fading further from his former self. It would say that this transition, to just his second NBA team since 2001, might be difficult, that Kirilenko is beginning the twilight of his career.
Andrei Kirilenko has no time for convention.
So far this season with the Timberwolves, Kirilenko has stuffed a stat line that's his best since 2005-06. He's...