The Nets pursued Andrei Kirilenko late in free agency. It was always a long shot because the Nets at that point only had the vets minimum to work with. It got even longer when the Timberwolves showed up with an offer of $20 million over two years, the second year a player option. Kirilenko won't talk about the negotiations --he says it would not be fair to players on the Nets-- but he wishes Mikhail Prokhorov well.
"I want to say is I'm wishing him good luck, but not when the Nets play against us," Kirilenko said. "He's doing great things and he's the first Russian owner in the NBA. I think it's great for Russian basketball because Russian players are going to have feelings that somebody from the NBA owns a team, and one day he might give them a fair chance to play there. It's a great platform for the Russian fans."
Kirilenko told Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York that he and Prokhorov "are not close" (although has said different things at different times in different places about the relationship). Of course, between 1998 and 2001, "He was my employer," Kirilenko said. Might the Nets pursue AK-47 again? Don't be surprised.
- Andrei Kirilenko: I wish Mikhail good luck - Jared Zwerling - ESPN New York