Nets owner praises Kirilenko, now head of Russian basketball

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Nets owner praises Kirilenko, now head of Russian basketball

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov praised Andrei Kirilenko, who played two seasons for the Russian oligarch in Brooklyn, for getting elected to the presidency of the Russian Basketball Federation on Tuesday.

“I congratulate Andrei on his new position and think it is an excellent choice,” Prokhorov said in an emailed statement to the Daily News Wednesday morning. “He will bring the benefit of his exemplary career both in Russia and in the NBA to the further development of basketball in Russia and I wish him every success.”

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Prokhorov backed Kirilenko’s candidacy to run for president of an organization that is in turmoil and was suspended from international play in July by FIBA because of upheaval within the ranks, leading to the previous elections to be overturned.

In Kirilenko, the federation is getting someone who is the international face of basketball for Russia.

He played in the NBA for 13 seasons before announcing his retirement in June.

He also had a decorated career in Russia, winning an Olympic bronze medal for the country’s national team in 2012.

Kirilenko took a leave of absence from the Nets last November for personal reasons and was traded in December to Philly, where he was eventually waived after never suiting up.

The 6-9 forward signed with his former Russian club CSKA Moscow in late February, helping the team advance to the Euroleague Final Four in Madrid before making his announcement in June.

Tags:
mikhail prokhorov ,
andrei kirilenko

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