Andrei Kirilenko scoffs at Russian conspiracy theory
You have heard the conspiracy theory by now: Andrei Kirilenko opted out of the $10.2 million final year of his contract with Minnesota to sign with the Brooklyn Nets for the taxpayers midlevel exception of $3.1 million (he signed a two year deal). Around the league there are plenty of executives convinced there is something shady here, that the Russian owner of the Nets Mikhail Prokhorov set up a side deal where Kirilenko is living in a gold-plated home like the Russian oligarch in the DirecTV commercial, right down to the miniature pet giraffe.
Good luck proving it, but much like the second shooter on the grassy knoll there are some taking this as fact.Kirilenko brushed off the entire idea in a conversation with Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
“I opted out not because I wanted to sign with the Nets. At that time, I wanted to be in Minnesota for a long time. But there was a change in Minnesota. I respect Flip Saunders decision, but he decided not to sign me for a long time. I can’t do anything about that…
“I can’t do anything with what people think. I’m coming from the facts. I can’t change it. I can’t control it. ...Those type of rumors I can’t control. And I guess it comes from the history because of the Russian KGB. It makes it a little funny. What can I do?”
What else can he say? You are going to believe what you want to believe regardless of what he says.
Adding AK47 off the bench makes the Nets more dangerous, a deeper team with a little more athleticism along the front line. I’ve got questions — can they keep Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce healthy? Can Deron Williams play up to his Utah form again? Can Jason Kidd coach? — but they are dangerous. Kirilenko sees them as contenders.