Andrei Kirilenko waves good bye to NBA, joins ex-club CSKA Moscow

Andrei KirilenkoAndrey Kirilenko has decided to wave good bye to the NBA, and move back to Russia, to play for his old CSKA Moscow basketball club.

“I am happy to return to my favorite club where I first started out,” he said.

“I understand that I now have to think about retirement from professional basketball and I think it is best to do this at my home club,” Kirilenko said.

It is Kirilenko’s third spell with CSKA following previous stints from 1998-2001 and 2011-12.

Kirilenko started the 2014-2015 season with the Brooklyn Nets, but fell out of favor with coach Lionel Hollins. Former star forward was then traded to he Philadelphia 76ers but did not make an appearance for the club before his contract was terminated.

“We always have a spare place in our locker room for Andrei,” said CSKA president Andrei Vatutin.

CSKA have won the Russian championship 21 times and lifted the Euroleague trophy in 2006 and 2008.

Kirilenko, a 2004 NBA All-Star, entered the NBA with the Utah Jazz and spent 10 seasons with the team. He averaged career high 16.5 ppg and 8.1 rpg in 2003-04 for the Jazz. Kirilenko also led the NBA in blocks per game (3.3 bpg) in 2004-05, and in overall blocks the next season.

During his NBA years, Kirilenko played for the Jazz (10 seasons), one season with Minnesota Timberwolves and two more seasons with the Brooklyn Nets. He appeared in total 797 NBA regular season games (started 546), averaging 11.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 1.8 bpg in 30 mpg.


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