Retired NBA star Andrei Kirilenko aims to change Russian basketball

andrei-kirilenko-brooklynFormer NBA star Andrei Kirilenko, who has retired from the NBA, said that he will be looking for a way to change the attitude towards basketball in Russia.

“There is a difficult situation in Russian basketball at the moment as there is a lot of negativity surrounding it. I would like to try and change something,” he said, Reuters reported citing Russian daily Sport-Express.

Kirilenko further said he could be tempted by a leading role in the country’s basketball federation.

“Is it really possible that I could take over as the head of the Russian Basketball Federation? I can’t say for certain,” he said.

While he said he has retired from basketball, Kirilenko didn’t rule out returning to the sport in the future.

“I have not said that this is my final decision. However, at the moment – yes, I have retired. I have had enough. I have had a successful career as a basketball player and the time has come to do something different,” he said.

Kirilenko started his career with Spartak St Petersburg, before moving to Russian giants CSKA Moscow. He then moved to the United States to join the Utah Jazz and was selected for the NBA All-Star game in 2004.

In recent years, Kirilenko has appeared for the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA, before returning to Russia in February to link up once again with CSKA until the end of the 2014/15 season.

Kirilenko helped the Russian national team win the 2007 European Championships and a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

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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