There were a ton of factors that contributed to Brooklyn’s second-half surge during the 2013-14 season, most notably Kevin Garnett willingly adapting to playing center and Shaun Livingston flanking a rejuvenated Deron Williams in Brooklyn’s backcourt. But having a long, intelligent defender like Kirilenko didn’t hurt, either, and the team went 30-15 in games he played.
David Pick reports that Kirilenko has decided to retire from basketball after not being selected to play for Russia in FIBA Europe:
Andrei Kirilenko – wasn't invited to Russian squad at EuroBasket – is retiring. It's a wrap.
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) June 1, 2015
ESPN’s Mike Mazzeo reported that Kirilenko said via email that retirement is “under consideration”:
Andrei Kirilenko via e-mail on basketball retirement report: "It's a possibility, but not certain." Will think about it more over summer.
— Mike Mazzeo (@MazzESPN) June 2, 2015
Kirilenko left the NBA earlier this year to finish his career with CSKA Moscow, and has often talked of a retirement timetable between 2015 and 2017.
Even if he decides to keep playing, it does seem that Kirilenko’s time in the NBA has finished. Kirilenko was one of the league’s unique players: a small forward that led the league in blocks and filled up the box score in his prime like few others. He recorded a “5×5” game — putting up at least five points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals — three times in his career, more than anyone except Hakeem Olajuwon (6). No other player has put up more than one.
If you want to learn more about Kirilenko’s basketball IQ — and how he developed it en route to a stellar NBA career — read the below feature on his defense, which started from learning offense in Russia.