Sanyarin, a valued forum member, has taken time out of his day to translate a recent Andrei Kirilenko Interview originally posted on a German sports portal. I am working to find the source material to credit the original author as I am not familiar with German sports websites. For now, enjoy this contribution he made in our forums. Thanks, Sanyarin!
Greetings fellow pupsters!
Haven’t been around for one or two eternities, I guess, and I’m not sure that’s about to change soon. But I just stumbled upon this interview with Andrei Kirilenko, conducted by one of Germany’s most popular (not necessarily best) sport portals and published yesterday. And as I have the rare day off, I thought it might be of some interest to you guys altough there's not much information to be gained from it. Nonetheless, you'll hopefully enjoy it. I might have been absent, but haven’t forgotten about you all.
Sadly, my English has gotten a little bit rusty over time and it never was the best to begin with, so you’ll have to make well with my cumbersome translation from German into English … whith the interview probably being conducted in English and translated into German afterwards. There and back again …
The translation is also probably not the most consistent one as I kinda switch between trying to translate 1:1 and trying to grasp more of the sense than the pure wording. On the occasion that words are put in [brackets], those are (maybe) closer to the true translation than the words I chose to use but sounded sort of weid to my ear … just as will this whole translation to yours. But enough of that, here we go:
Question: Congratulations on reaching the semi-finals. Your very close to winning a medal now. The perfect farewell, considering you are leaving Europe for the NBA?
Kirilenko: *laughs* Oh yes! I want that medal bad! We have a great team right now, not necessarily playing the best basketball, but fighting till we drop. We are like mean [small, little] dogs, biting and fighting for every ball. I really enjoy seeing the way the Russian team has taken shape over the last years. We never give up.
Question: Is it this feature that makes the Russian Team so strong?
Kirilenko: I think our Coach David Blatt manages to build a tremendous spirit within the team [gives us team spirit]. He says: We don't have superior scorers, but we do have superior team defense. Thus, we must play to our strengths [play that way]. This works very well. And we're a great collective off the court as well. There are no loners among us. When one guy wants to do [undertake] something, normally everybody joins him.
Question: Now you're facing Spain and therefore old companions [acquiatances].
Kirilenko: *laughs* Very old companions. I played with Pau Gasol, Jose Calderon and Juan Carlos Navarro as early as when we were in junior [youth] teams. I know them for 15 years for sure. This will be a real hoot. We know each other in and out. It will be decisive who, on this day, in this game, brings his A game [will be in better form].
Question: Which European is the Number 1 right now?
Kirilenko: It changes from season to season. Sometimes one guy has a strong year and another is going through a slump [has problems]. But it comes down to the well-known names: Dirk Nowitzki, although he's a little bit older than the others, Pau Gasol, Tony Parker.
Question: Do we get to see the best AK47 of all times during these Olympics?
Kirilenko: I don't want to judge that myself. I have never been a big time scorer, but I'm more of a team player who's helping his team by doing all those little things on offense as well as on defense.
Question: This year in Russia, did it make you a better player because you know both worlds now, the NBA and European basketball [Europe]?
Kirilenko: It made me more versatile, I believe, because it's [they play] a completely different kind of Basketball in the USA and in Europe. I really don't want to say which one is the better, but they can't really be compared to one another anyway. The Spaniards, for instance, employ [work with] an unbelievably fast passing game while with the US boys it's mostly all about athletics. The South Americans are really tough as well. The Asians, on the other hand, run and shoot most of the time and now and then, you don’t understand what their game plan is [what they do on the court]. That is so interesting about watching Olympic basketball.
Question: Certainly you have watched the Dream Team. Is it even possible to beat the USA?
Kirilenko: They can be beat, but it’s very, very difficult. They always play fantastic, have a guy on every position who knows how to play, how to score, how to rebound, how to do the right thing at the right time [act in the decisive moment]. If you plan to squeeze out a win [want to beat them], you have to perfectly execute your own game plan without letting your attention slip for one second. The Argentineans did that brilliantly for 30 minutes in the preliminary [their group game], but then lost the decisive quarter 17:42.
Question: You will get to know one man from the Dream Team much better in the upcoming year, Kevin Love, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ star. Why did you decide to sign with the T-Wolves [change teams]?
Kirilenko: The opportunity arose for me to return to the NBA this offseason. I had watched some games of the T-Wolves last season and considered it an interesting team. They move a lot on the court, play a European style. I like that. And I love Rick Adelman. I’m a fan of him since his days with Sacramento. I thought: He’s the coach who can fit me into a system. That is a great opportunity for me. I was intrigued by other teams as well, but they played a different brand of basketball, focusing more on the individual player than team effort [team play]. But that’s exactly what I like.
Question: Along with you, you teammate Alexej Shved will join [move to] Minnesota. What’s you opinion on him?
Kirilenko: I like his game! I think, he had a break out [breakthrough] this year. The Olympics hint at him being ready to compete [play] on the highest level now. I appreciate our coach giving him more freedom and responsibility compared to the European Championships last year.
Question: Can he make it in the NBA?
Kirilenko: I hope so. Everybody sees his potential. Most of all, he has the physical tools that will make it difficult to defend him in the NBA. His ability to create plays for both himself and his teammates will be very valuable in the NBA.
Question: Kevin Love is already very valuable. Can he become an NBA MVP?
Kirilenko: Definitely. He could have already been MVP last season but it really hurt his case that his team missed the playoffs. Additionally, an injury forced him to sit out a few games. If you have a franchise player in the NBA, he needs to play all the time. Otherwise, the whole team looses its balance. The Timberwolves’ whole game was especially dependent on Kevin.
Question: Do you believe you can help the T-Wolves with you experience not to loose its balance so easily and to reach the playoffs?
Kirilenko: I will do my best. As I said, I’m not the big scorer, but I can certainly help the team in many areas.
And once again, check all this out (and more!) in our TWolves Blog Forums!
Inspired by the release of what may be the single greatest photo of all time (as seen above), we now know Kahn is on a mission. He will fool us. Hide in plain sight. He is everywhere, yet nowhere. Let us journey together to discover where David Kahn has been hiding since the Kirilenko signing. Let's play: Where's Kahn?
(Instructions in case of innate slowness: find Kahn in the photos below)
As we now know, David Kahn is a master of disguise. But he will have to do a little bit better than this lackluster, Jonny Flynn-like effort to fool us this time.
Here we see Kahn better blend in with his natural surroundings
A man among boys, Kahn will BLEND IN to any situation. A true master of disguise and deceit.
Did you find them all? Stay tuned for more Where's Kahn? adventures throughout this next season and beyond!!!
Entering the Olympics it seemed like the Wolves fans were going to miss out on a marquee final with American USA Basketball Stud versus G.O.A.T. Euro PG God. Well we will miss out on that with Rubio out but @#$k Spain, it is Russia's time to shine!
Alexey Shved: 16 pts, 13 asts, and 3 steals versus the Brits. HOLY CRAP THAT IS AWESOME!
Andrei Kirilenko: 35, 3 blks and 2 steals. Take it easy on em big fella. Maybe run like a hyena instead of a deer.
Kevin Love: 14 points in 14 minutes versus France ( 7 more points than Nikki "Dead to me" Batum).
Alexy Shved: 14 pts, 6 asts, and 3 steals versus the Chinese. Solid.
Andrei Kirilenko: 16 pts, 9 rebs and 4 steals. Pacing himself. Smart.
Kevin Love: 16 pts in 17 min versus Tunisia.
Alexy Shved: 17 points, 6 assists and a tying 3 with less than 30 seconds left in a HUGE game against Brazil. Freaking awesome. Granted he was a little careless with the ball and did pile up assists. Shved showed he has the first step to get by NBA caliber guards in this one.
Andrei Kirilenko: 19 points and a smattering of other solid stats. Continues to be the best player on what could be the surprise 2nd best team.
Kevin Love: 15 points in the laugher against Nigeria.
Wolves fans need to be in a lather about how the Russians are playing. Top form.
COMING UP NEXT:
Russia versus Spain on Saturday
USA versus Argentina on Mondayno comments
In a shocking, very quick turn of events, Kahn has finally acquired a significant player by signing Andrei Kirilenko to a 2-year, $20 million contract. Ten brief thoughts:
1. Kirilenko is a terrific player. He immediately brings a robust skillset and plenty of experience along with it. He is an excellent defender, falling into the swiss-army knife forward category. He can hit the outside shots. Brings energy, toughness, passing rebounding, defense, steals, blocks and shooting. He is about as versatile of a forward as they come. Don't let anyone tell you this isn't a very, very good addition to this roster.
2. Kirilenko was not technically "out of the league for a year." He missed the season because of the lockout. During said year, he won the Euroleague MVP. Any argument that he is "washed up" and "no team wanted him" is completely baseless.
3. Kirilenko's injury proneness is a legit concern.
4. $10 million is not much of an overpayment for a player of his skillset, experience and prestige. Look around. We are just used to Kahntracts and rookie deals. What is funny is I'll bet those against the money would be a-ok giving Gerald Wallace a similar deal. Seems hypocritical.
5. The Wolves finally look like a decent team.
6. Those of you who don't like this move can kindly enjoy your alternative universe with Wes Johnson still in it and maybe a Willie Green offseason "cherry on top."
7. Many Wolves fans should eat crow for dessert tonight (me included). A big move finally came.
8. Trading Wes Johnson and a 1st rounder hurts. I get it. I'd rather focus on what is ahead. The Wes Johnson era is now over. The Wolves still have one extra first rounder. Wes will not be missed. Pretend it didn't happen. Consistent, good basketball is upon us for the first time since 2004.
9. What on earth is the plan for Derrick Williams? 6th man combo forward? He is going to have a hard time finding minutes. This is a negative by-product.
10. < Insert ridiculously overdone whitey joke>no comments
The off-season has gone swimmingly so far. I mean, we have subtracted more black players than anyone could have ever imagined, and our team is almost 100% white. In 1950, Kahn gets an infinity A+ for this off-season.
Lesley Johnson is rumored to be gone in a 3-way trade, although with a future 1st round pick from us (learning from McHale, NICE!) For.......... nothing.
Well, we would actually get cap space. Although it's pretty sad that you have to give up a future 1st round pick to get cap space for an absolutely TERRIBLE player who's option should have never been picked up in the first place. Had Kahn simply declined the option for a bottom 5 wing in the entire NBA, there would be no financial reprecussions whatsoever. But hey, who's complaining? Besides me.
So then KAHN wants to use that cap space...................... to sign another white foreign player (AK-47) to a two-year, $9 million per year deal! HA! You can't even make this stuff up! Subtract a black guy and a future potential black guy, for an old white guy. DEAL.
I mean really, when you are discussing Kahn... it's like you need to stop before you just embarrass yourself. Because clearly he doesn't care. And it's just too easy.
So I went to Cub Foods today to get more bananas (a banana a day keeps the doctor away!) After way more time spent debating the various bushels than I would care to admit, I thought I picked a pretty good one. But I just went to refill my Rangpor-diet tonic.... and HOLY SHYT DID I PICK A CRAPASS GREEN BUNCH OF BANANAS! I thought I had some gigantic cucumbers sitting there on our counter. Damn, I epic failed. I am going to need the Jaws of Life to open one of those suckers tomorrow morning. I am more sad right now that I bet any of you would ever believe. Seriously.
People are SAD Wayne is gone?!?!?! WTF is wrong with them? I mean, it's Wayne Ellington here, whom Kahn should never have drafted in the first place. Kahn could have simply drafted our new tweener CUNNINGHAM that year instead (but Kahn does have Down Syndrome, so pass... I guess?) Or Kahn could have drafted DeJuan Blair, or Sam Young, or Jon Brockman, or Jonas brother Jerebko, or I shoot when I wanna shoot Meeks, or MARCUS THORNTON SG EXTRAORDINAIRE, or Chase Budinger (LOLOLOLZ the irony!!!), or Danny Green........................ or Henk Norel. Well played.
Please click "Read More" for the rest of my off-season predictions...no comments
Often times before I post something, I will poke around on various Wolves blogs and especially message boards to get a general idea of how Wolves fans are feeling about the team, a trade, or a rumor. It's always a fun thing to read many different perspectives on the state of the team. That being said, it is safe to say that up until Portland matched the Wolves' offer sheet for Nicolas Batum, this fanbase was, generally, excited. Even some of the deeply cynical posters on this site took a temporary positive tone. Glen Taylor was finally opening his pocket books. There "was a plan B if this all fell apart" and fans were motivated, coming up with trade scenarios and good fits, debating the transactions not-to-be in a futile, yet familiar manner. "The Wolves are finally going to be a winning team," and so on and so forth. Our own macro-perceptions of what would be the Wolves' offseason were clouded by what turned out to be a complete fools' errand. An assumption marinaded in wishful thinking. And while this may sound like I am a bit late to the party, analyzing a series of Batum-related events that finally came to a close a week ago, there are still plenty of takeaways that still carry through today:
CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUE
He's not white, but at least he's a much needed big-man (at least, bigger than Wayne Ellington. I think. Maybe.) CAN YOU FEEL IT?!?
Jerry Zgoda reporting:
That Wolves trade that has been in the works for days and days -- shooting guard Wayne Ellington to Memphis for forward Dante Cunningham -- will finally be official later today.
The Wolves are dealing away a 2009 first-round draft pick (28th overall) who was only going to see playing time this season if there were many injuries and getting back a guy who plays both forward spots and is active on defense.
Both players make almost exactly the same salary -- a little more than $2 million a season -- but the deal gives the Grizzlies another shooter and gives the Wolves a needed forward for a team that has added guards Brandon Roy and Alexey Shved but lost Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph and quite possibly Anthony Tolliver from the frontcourt.
Portland drafted Cunningham 33rd overall out of Villanova in 2009 -- third pick in the second round, five picks after the Wolves took Ellington -- and traded him to Charlotte in February 2011. He signed as a restricted free agent just before the start of last season.
$10 million over three years, for the mystery man from Russia.
The Timberwolves have agreed to a three-year, $10 million contract with Alexey Shved.
Shved, whose departure from CSKA Moscow has already been announced, should officially sign with Minnesota in the coming days. "Minnesota's a good, young and ambitions team," Shved said. He also had offers from the Grizzlies and Cavs, but Rick Adelman reportedly played a major role in the point guard choosing the Timberwolves. "They say that Rick trusts young players and discovers talents, and I'm ready to work for my part." Shved is 6'6" and capable of playing either guard position.
We commin we commin nothin gonna stop us now can you feel it run with the wolves HOWL.
Hahahahahahah Randy Foye wants the full MLE (or more???) He's clearly delusional. Out of the league within 2 years. I don't even have anything else to say (amazingly.)
Kahn is going to sign and trade Batum for 567 first round picks? I guess I wouldn't doubt it. But the Frenchman has already said he doesn't want to be in Portland. WHY WOULD YOU GIVE THEM ANYTHING KAHHHHHHHHHHMNNNNNNNNNNNN? Call their bluff and walk away for Iggy. Or just offer Batum the $50 milli (poppin bottles) and see what happens. IT IS NOT GODDAMN ROCKET SCIENCE YOU MORON. Seriously Kahn, what have you done since you have been here besides take the most obvious trade in the world with the Wizards (for Rubio.) I would work for 1/10th of your 750K salary (lolollololollloolol) and still out perform you.
Anyways, I digress.
Rashard Lewis to the cHeat. Ray Ray too. Those bastards.
Dwight Howard to nobody (lolz.)
The Hornets got better from the draft but then got worse from the Jack trade. Combining Ryan Anderson with Anthony Davis and Grevious Vasqfjslfjewoifusdl = -67 wins. Cool. They win the first overall pick next year as well. Luckily for us, we landed SHVED. Suck it, Hornets losers.
The Lakers landed Nash, which doesn't even matter because he's on Bradley the Bear's team and he only plays 27 minutes per game. He'll probably play like 34 minutes per game next year thanks to Mike Clown, and his assists and ppg will be up, but the advanced stats nerds will tell you that he outshot relatitivety to the nth power at a 96% confidence interval and factoring in the rPer - .96WPG + SexyTime multipled by the WinsProduced + infinity loserdom = Lakers will not win a championship with Nash.
Duncan resigned. Yawn.
Well that didn't take the Mavs long to reTOOL (hahaha I crack myself up.) They signed Chris Kaman (your mouth), and fleeced the Pacers for Darren Collison (Mahimini, really?!?) Those guys very admirably fill their gaping holes at C and PG. And they are rumored to be getting the just amnestied Elton Brand. Damnit, I thought they were gonna be a lottery team this year. Not fair times infinity.
Hey, we finally amnestied Darko. CWeat!
/Dead to me.
What else happened in the West? Please feel free to enlighten me in the comments! I like the Wolves chances to maybe (keyword) finish 8th next year, since Rubio wont return until 2013. But its ok because we have SHVED! (See link above.)
We are also going to sign and trade for Batum, and then sign Brandon Roy. HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA Blazers fans you crazy-a$$ mofos. I can't wait until 5 months from now when Lilliard and Meyers (wtf really???) are leading your team into the cellar at a 13-win pace winning percentage. LMA will be out for the year with the "fuckthisshitsyndrome" and you guys will have a stellar lottery pick next year in a totally NOT loaded draft!
And if you get really bored, make sure to check out the TWolves Blog Forums, where all the magic happens...