MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti)
Former Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko has decided to return to the NBA for next season, he told R-Sport on Tuesday.
Kirilenko returned to his native Russia with CSKA Moscow during last season’s lockout and stayed until the end of the season.
He is a target for the Brooklyn Nets, owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, the Nets’ general manager Billy King told local radio Saturday.
“I’ll continue my career in the NBA,” Kirilenko said.
“Which club in particular, we’ll know in a day or two.”
Kirilenko finished last season as the MVP in the Euroleague and the regional VTB United League, and said his performances had convinced him he was still good enough for the NBA.
“After such a stronger season with CSKA I understand that I can still play at a high level. I’m 31 but I can still play and still want to play.”
King had said that he was looking at Kirilenko in part because he has the defensive ability to stop star forwards like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.
"That's why I'm looking at Kirilenko. You need players to run at those guys," he told Fox Sports Radio.
Kirilenko, 31, became the youngest player in Russian Super League history when he debuted for Spartak St. Petersburg in 1997 aged 16, before moving to CSKA in 1998.
Kirilenko spent 10 seasons with the Jazz, becoming an NBA All-Star in 2004.
He is under contract with CSKA till October 2014.
On Russia's roster since 2000, Kirilenko won the 2007 Eurobasket with his country and was the part of the team that finished third at the 2011 tournament.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Classic Car Rally in St. Petersburg
Infographics: Global Warming: Predicting Future Disasters
Cartoons: Polar Explorer Day
The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.