For all the die-hard Utah Jazz fans out there, Andrei Kirilenko is a star in an otherwise lackluster line up. But lately newscasters and sports announcers have been talking about Kirilenko’s marriage, rather than his basketball skills or his recurrent (fake?) injuries. In the current issue of ESPN The Magazine, Kirilenko mentions that his wife has agreed to allow him to sleep with one woman per basketball season. “If I know about it,” Masha Lopatova (his wife) said, “it’s not cheating.”
Recognizing the temptations faced by a high-flying basketball star surrounded by groupies, perhaps Lopatova is being realistic in acknowledging the propensity to cheat, and has created a relationship with a built-in margin for error. Enforcement could be tricky, though. Kirilenko certainly wouldn’t have a difficult time finding a willing partner, unlike hapless Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm trying to cash in on his anniversary present.
Setting aside the religious obligations involved in marriage, I’m intrigued how this arrangment could work in practice. But Kirilenko and Lopatova have been happily married for six years, since Kirilenko was nineteen years old, so something seems to be working.