Russian basketball player Andrey Kirilenko started coaching career

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CSKA forward Andrey Kirilenko joined the coaching staff of the Moscow basketball club. He became an assistant of head coach Dimitrios Itoudis. It is reported by the CSKA press service.

Kirilenko returned from the United States, where he played in the NBA club Brooklyn Nets in February 2015. He signed a contract with the club until the end of the season.

“I know that many journalists and fans ask a lot of questions about Andrey’s health and his role in the team. Our coaching staff and, of course, the club management have been thinking for a long time how to make the best Russian basketball player of our time more useful for CSKA, how to increase his influence. In my opinion, we have found a perfect solution and now Kirilenko will be officially considered my right hand. As I see it, he will adapt fast; Andrey has always been my assistant on the bench and in the locker room. Moreover, I am sure that together we can come up with some clever tactical moves before the decisive stage of the season, because Kirilenko has vast knowledge, experience in playing European and NBA matches of the highest level,” said head coach Dimitrios Itoudis.

“When I signed a contract with CSKA, I said that I would like to help develop the Russian basketball by all means. I am sure in my new role, at least until the end of the season, this help will be more significant. After all, we have excellent team players, members of the national team, and now they will have to pay more attention to my advice. And then, who knows, maybe I’ll make my friend Vitya Khryapa return to the national team. I can’t wait to take up new responsibilities; my head swarms with ideas about how to improve the quality of our game,” the CSKA official site quotes Andrey Kirilenko.

Kirilenko started his career in 1996 in BC Spartak Saint Petersburg. He left for CSKA in 1998. Together with the team he won two Russian Cups. In 2001, the forward moved to the Utah Jazz, where he spent 10 years.

In 2011, during a lockout, Kirilenko returned to CSKA. In 2012 he was named the most valuable player of the European League and the best player of the year by FIBA.

After the lockout he started playing in the Minnesota Timberwolves together with another Russian Alexey Shved.

Last season Kirilenko spent playing in the Brooklyn Nets, but this season he hasn’t had game practice. The Brooklyn Nets sent Kirilenko to the Philadelphia 76ers, but the Russian refused to play there and became a free agent.

In February he returned to CSKA.

Text by RBC

Pictures by sports.ru