Goodbye Brooklyn? Andrei Kirilenko Missing Road Trip
After a start to the season which saw his on-court visibility plummet faster than Sue Storm’s, it looks like we’ve reached the end of Andrei Kirilenko’s stay in Brooklyn. It was announced this morning that Kirilenko would not be traveling out west with the rest of the team for a back-to-back tilt against the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight and the San Antonio Spurs tomorrow for “personal reasons.”
Since joining the Nets before the start of last season, AK-47 has had a rough go of it, missing substantial time during last season’s rocky start due to back injuries. This season saw him start off in Lionel Hollins’ rotation, but as time’s worn on, he’s been progressively phased out, culminating with appearances on Hollins’ inactive list this week in losses to Miami and the Milwaukee. When asked about Kirilenko’s return following the road trip, Hollins replied “I don’t know.” And while there have been no indications from the team or the league that Kirilenko is done for good in Brooklyn, you can be assured that the rumor mill is warming up.
The Sixers have supposedly been talking trade options with the Nets, while the Spurs did finish a nose behind the Nets in their bid for Kirilenko’s services a year ago. Additionally, Kirilenko has played multiple stints for the Russian club CSKA Moscow, first from 1998-2001, and then again for the 2011-12 season, and his wife posted on Instagram (during a jersey retirement ceremony for her father) “Looking forward to finish @ak47net career there.” Obviously things are still developing, but it’s looking increasingly doubtful that his Na’vi costume will be making an encore appearance at Deron Williams’ Halloween party next year.