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AK no LeBron but can be 5-category player

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –- Andrei Kirilenko’s ability to hit so many statistical categories reminds Jason Kidd of how LeBron James can stuff a stat sheet.

Kidd wasn’t putting Kirilenko in the same class as the league’s best player but rather talking about players who can hit that many categories.

“I’m not LeBron James,” Kirilenko said. “But this is the style of game that I am usually playing. I try to be on both ends of the court, be available for the team. A couple of games you can have points, rebounds, assists, it just depends on what the other team lets you do.”

In his preseason debut with the Nets, Kirilenko had 11 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block against the Wizards. He also hit a three-pointer in 24 minutes.

Kirilenko, 32, said he feels as fresh as he has in a long time after not picking up a basketball for the majority of the offseason. Typically, Kirilenko has other offseason basketball commitments but this was a rare summer of rest for the Russian.

“Whole summer, I didn’t pick up a basketball,” he said. “I was running and stuff but no extra basketball. I think it really helped me kind of get out of a basketball routine and kind of [had me] missing basketball. I was really excited to play the last game.”

“It feels great,” he added of his body. “It feels great when you feel refreshed for a season.”

For his career, Kirilenko averages 12.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.4 steals. He can play multiple positions and start in case of injury or if Kidd needs to rest a veteran.

And on a team with as much star power as the Nets have, Kirilenko doesn’t need the ball to make an impact.

“I am one of those players that likes to play with no ball in my hands,” he said. “A lot of guys like to have the ball. I am one of those guys who doesn’t need the ball to play basketball. I guess I am on the right team. We got a lot of guys who can play with the ball.”

Kirilenko said he is feeling healthy which means he could be filling a lot of stat sheets for the Nets this season.

“AK always has got energy,” said Deron Williams, who played with Kirilenko in Utah. “But if he feels better that is good. Look at his stat line from the other night. That is what he does. He fills up stat sheets. He is an energy player.”