Wolves Season Not What Kirilenko Expected
If Andrei Kirilenko ever said he wanted a do-over, you couldn’t blame him.
Coming off a season with CSKA Moscow in which he was named 2011-12 Euroleague player of the year, and then the London Olympics, where he led Russia to a bronze medal, he got a chance to return to the NBA, where he had played for 10 seasons with the Utah Jazz.
A free agent, Kirilenko had his pick of teams. He liked the Minnesota Timberwolves’ roster, and he heard positive words from other NBA players about coach Rick Adelman’s offense. Kirilenko pictured himself fitting into Adelman’s free-flowing style that gives players freedom, especially a 6-9 forward with scoring and passing skills.
In all, Minnesota players have missed 162 games because of injuries. This wasn’t the team he signed up to play with.
“We’re a little bit banged up,” Kirilenko told USA TODAY Sports, understanding his understatement. “We have a lot of guys out, and even the head coach, and it’s pretty tough to play that way when the rotation is different.”