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Aaron Falk, Tony Jones and Steve Luhm cover the Utah Jazz and the NBA for The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune on Twitter - Aaron Falk: @tribjazz, Steve Luhm: @sluhm, Tony Jones: @Tjonessltrib

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Kirilenko: Tattoo is real and I love it

Yes, it's real. And, yes, he really likes it.

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Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko confirmed today that he recently added some new color to his life. Moreover, he is very happy with how his intense and dramatic full-back tattoo turned out.

A photo of Kirilenko's newly inked body first showed up Saturday on the internet, then made waves this afternoon.

The image — a highly detailed portrait that features what appears to be a knight-like warrior riding a dragon-like beast — took a couple days to flesh out, Kirilenko said.

As for the fiery buzz his black-and-red covered back has quickly created?

"It's very strange, because it's so much pain," Kirilenko said. "It's so funny, because I didn't do it for the people. … I don't really plan to show it around."

Kirilenko added that his kids love his new look, while he feels that he is entitled to do whatever he wants as a 30-year-old man.

"If I feel like I want [a tattoo], I get one," Kirilenko said. "It's really strange that it gets so much attention. … Ninety-nine percent of players have tattoos."

— Brian T. Smith

Twitter: @tribjazz

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