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Andrei Kirilenko: Jason Kidd couldn’t handle pressure of New York

Andrei-Kirilenko-NetsAndrei Kirilenko played 19 minutes per game with the Brooklyn Nets last season, which was by far the lowest total of his career. It was hardly a secret that Kirilenko was not Jason Kidd’s favorite player, so AK47 must have been glad when Kidd forced his way to Milwaukee. A recent interview he gave with SovSport in Russia sure made it sound that way.

Kirilenko, whose wife called out Kidd when Andrei didn’t play in Game 1 of the Nets’ series against the Toronto Raptors back in April, wondered aloud if Kidd was unable to handle the pressure of coaching in New York.

“So the pressure is huge,” he said, per a translation from Nets Daily. “And Kidd couldn’t handle it. Or maybe didn’t want to.

“Basically he was not able to do much of anything, if you look at the big picture — we have to admit that fact. There were objective reasons. Our starting center, Brook Lopez, injured himself early and was out for the whole season. There were health problems with other players. But the serious goals set before the club were not cancelled. We were serious about fighting for the title.”

Kirilenko was injured for a good portion of the 2013-2014 season, so he was able to gain an outsider’s prospective while the Nets struggled out of the gate.

“At the beginning it was difficult,” he said. “What else could it be when you’re losing more games than you’re winning? Things were a bit easier for me as I was injured at the time and couldn’t be on the court and do anything about it, no matter how much I wanted to. So, inside, I was calm.”

Personally, I think the Nets rushed into making Kidd an NBA coach. Trying to become a head coach the second you retire from playing is an incredibly difficult transition. I don’t expect things to go much better for Kidd with the Bucks.

Andrei Kirilenko’s wife upset over husband’s benching

Andrei Kirilenko bench

Were you watching Game 1 between the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors on Saturday and wondering where the heck Andrei Kirilenko was? I sure did. And so did his wife.

AK47 averaged 19 minutes per game during the regular season and played at least 24 minutes in each of the team’s final five regular season games, but Nets coach Jason Kidd decided to keep him on the bench during Game 1 in Toronto.

Kirilenko, along with Jason Collins and Jorge Gutierrez, received DNP – coach’s decisions for the game.

Safe to say that Kirilenko’s wife, Masha Lopatova, was not thrilled to see her husband planted on the bench all game. She shared the photo seen above on her Instagram account along with the caption:

“And you are Kidding like Jason…..”

That “kidding like Jason” is a line from a Nelly song. Masha wrote a comment to someone on Instagram saying it hurt not seeing her husband in there.

“I don’t want to say anything bad but just think about 350 million Russian fans back in Russia cheering for the one Russian player in the playoffs ( not to mention Russian community and Russian ownership ) that hurts!!!”

She did maintain some perspective, writing to another fan that “W – is all that matters!”

Well that’s good. At least she’s still a team-first wife. And who can’t understand her disappointment?

According to the NY Post, this is what Kidd had to say about AK47’s absence.

“Ten other guys played,” Kidd said. “I can’t play ’em all. He’s healthy.”

Maybe we’ll see AK in there for Game 2. If not, Masha will probably have some words for Mikhail.

Tip via David B.

NBA execs wonder if Mikhail Prokhorov, Andrei Kirilenko have side deal

Mikhail Prokhorov NetsMany people were in disbelief about Andrei Kirilenko’s deal with the Brooklyn Nets from the moment terms of the agreement were reported on Thursday.

Kirilenko, who declined a $10.2 million option to remain with the Minnesota Timberwolves, agreed to a one-year contract with the Nets for the mini mid-level exception of $3.1 million. Though the market for him may not have been strong, many viewed the deal as a discount.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports that he heard from several NBA executives who were highly suspicious of the deal and calling for an investigation. One Western Conference GM called the deal “brazen”; an owner said the league might have to punish the Nets if there’s a side deal; and an Eastern Conference GM called for a probe.

The San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder reportedly were interested in acquiring Kirilenko via sign-and-trade deals, but Minnesota was not accommodating. The market for AK47, who was reportedly seeking a multi-year deal for at least $8 million annually, dried up. It makes sense that Kirilenko would settle for less than $10 million per season — we even saw Monta Ellis settle for less than he wanted on his contract with the Dallas Mavericks — but not 70 percent less.

Sure, reuniting with former Utah Jazz teammate Deron Williams may have been appealing to Kirilenko, but the Russian baller has a history with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. He played for Prokhorov’s CSKA Moscow team in Russia in the past. Is it possible that Prokhorov is paying Kirilenko on the side in order to make up for the small salary? Let’s just say there is good reason for the suspicion.

Andrei Kirilenko to sign with Brooklyn Nets for mini mid-level exception

Andrei Kirilenko

The Brooklyn Nets already beefed up their roster by making a big trade with the Boston Celtics, and they are not done making moves.

According to NBA reporter Peter Vecsey, the Nets have agreed to sign Andrei Kirilenko for the mini mid-level exception, which is $3.1 million.

The Nets are getting a darn good defensive player for very little money. AK47 was set to earn $10.2 million this season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he opted out of the deal in search of a bigger contract. Minnesota GM Flip Saunders was not accommodating when it came to dealing Kirilenko in potential sign-and-trades to San Antonio or Oklahoma City, so the Russian forward ended up with Brooklyn on a discounted deal.

Kirilenko, 32, probably thought he could get one last multi-year contract and guessed wrong. He will add depth to the Nets, who already have Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez.

Because of the luxury tax, the Nets could end up paying around $15 million just to sign AK47.

Is Andrei Kirilenko removing his massive back tattoo? (Pictures)

andrei-kirilenko-back-tattoo

Andrei Kirilenko shocked basketball fans by getting a massive back tattoo last year. The tattoo was stunning for a few obvious reasons: it’s enormous, it’s out of character for a guy like Kirilenko, and it’s quite elaborate for a person’s first tattoo.

Some people predicted that Kirilenko would be removing it before long. It looks like they were right.

One of my friend who is a Timberwolves fan pointed out towards the beginning of the season that something about Kirilenko’s back tattoo didn’t look right. He said it looked like the Minnesota forward was removing it.

After watching Kirilenko during Ricky Rubio’s return over the weekend, I came away agreeing with him.

The photo you see at the top of this post is from a game Kirilenko played with the Russian team at the London Olympics in August. The tattoo ink is significantly less visible compared to what it looked like last year.

Below is a photo of how the tattoo originally looked:

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Video: Andrei Kirilenko Splits Head Open, Gets Concussion in Russian League

Andrei Kirilenko is one of the many NBA players who decided to sign a contract overseas during the lockout. The former Jazz forward is playing for CSKA Moscow in the Russian league, and he suffered a nasty injury Saturday according to SportsRU.com.

AK47 reportedly suffered a concussion and broken nose when he was pushed to the ground in a collision. Here is a video of the play, as shared by Eye on Basketball:

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AK-47 Signs with Russian Team, Poses with AK-47 (Picture)

Andrei Kirilenko is the latest NBA player to sign with a foreign team. The former Jazz forward signed a three-year deal with his former Russian team, CSKA. According to Sportando.net, via SI, Kirilenko’s contract allows him to return to the NBA a month after the lockout ends, whenever that happens. He also has the ability to leave his Russian team after every season to return to the NBA.

He’s no longer the player he once was, but he can still undoubtedly help an NBA team.

But let’s get back to the heart of the situation here. Guns? Tattoos? I don’t even know you anymore, Andrei Kirilenko.

Chest bump to NBA Offseason
Pic via SLC Dunk