JUNE 10TH, 8:16am: Retirement is the most likely outcome, Kirilenko admitted to the Russian media outlet Championat, offering only a 20% chance that he’ll play again as he cited the feeling that his body is not up for another full season (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).
JUNE 2ND, 8:38am: Kirilenko put the brakes on retirement talk, telling Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com via email that calling it quits is indeed a possibility for him but that it’s not yet a certainty, and that he’ll ponder the idea further over the summer (Twitter link).
JUNE 1ST, 6:34pm: Andrei Kirilenko has decided to retire after failing to receive an invitation from the Russian National Team to play in Eurobasket this summer, David Pick of Eurobasket.com tweets. That does not come as a surprise, since Kirilenko planned to make last season his final one in professional basketball. The 34-year-old most recently played with CSKA Moscow in his native Russia, appearing in 11 games and averaging 8.5 points and 5.3 rebounds.
Kirilenko made his last NBA appearance with the Nets early last season. He appeared in seven games for a total of 36 minutes before taking a leave of absence in November to tend to his wife, who reportedly endured a complicated pregnancy before giving birth to a healthy baby boy in February.
Brooklyn traded him to the Sixers in December but Kirilenko refused to report to Philadelphia. The Sixers placed him on unpaid suspension before releasing him in an apparent buyout deal shortly after the trade deadline passed. He signed with CSKA Moscow in late February.
He spent parts of 13 seasons in the NBA, mostly with the Jazz. He joined Utah in 2001, two years after he was drafted 24th overall. Noted for his defensive prowess and versatility, Kirilenko spent 10 seasons in Utah, making an All-Star appearance in 2004.
He returned to Europe to play for CSKA Moscow during the 2011 lockout and stayed with the team for the balance of the 2011/12 season. He returned to the NBA the next year with the Timberwolves, but he surprisingly turned down a $10.219MM player option for 2012/13. Instead, he inked a two-year deal for about $6.509MM with the Nets that sparked controversy given the steep discount and the presence of fellow Russian Mikhail Prokhorov as Brooklyn’s owner. The NBA investigated the deal after complaints from at least one other team, but the league found no wrongdoing.
However, Kirilenko failed to make a major impact for Prokhorov’s Nets. For his NBA career, he averaged 11.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 30.0 minutes per game with an 18.7 PER and 47.4% shooting. Kirilenko made more than $106.738MM during his NBA career, according to data from Basketball Reference and Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders, though that doesn’t account for any money he lost during his Sixers suspension this year.