As the calendar turns from July to August and the doldrums of another NBA summer continue, never fear — Andrei Kirilenko is here, with a cheetah, to brighten your days before the FIBA World Cup brings meaningful basketball back into our lives.
As brought to our attention by The Brooklyn Game, the 33-year-old Nets forward posted a picture from his Basketball Without Borders tour across Africa on Instagram, declaring, "I am in love with cheetahs."
Kirilenko is one of 10 NBA representatives — including Greg Monroe, who would be wise to stay away from big carnivorous cats as an unsigned restricted free agent — scheduled to attend the league's global development program in Johannesburg from Aug. 5-8. The others' affection for cheetahs is unknown.
Of course, Kirilenko's love of cheetahs makes all the sense in the world. Long and lean and fleet of foot with a mean mane, AK-47 has a relationship with large felines rivaled only by Ed Helms in the "Hangover."
Of course, Kirilenko has pledged his love for animals on Instagram before — declaring a stingray his good friend, the Jazz Bear his favorite mascot and a rhinoceros among his favorite works of art — so let's hope the aforementioned cheetah is as forgiving as his wife when it comes to the ways of the heart.
P.S. Kirilenko's Instagram account is legit mesmerizing.