Andrei Gennadyevich Kirilenko is a Russian professional basketball player who currently plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association (NBA). At age fifteen, Kirilenko began playing professional basketball in his native Russia with the Russian Basketball Super League. He spent another three years with CSKA Moscow, winning the Russian league MVP award in 2000. On June 30, 1999, at age 18 years, 132 days, Kirilenko was the youngest European player at the time to be drafted in the National Basketball Association. Kirilenko was also the first Russian picked in the first round of an NBA Draft. On April 23, 2000, he participated in his second Russian All-Star game, helping the West beat the East 122–111. In 2001, Kirilenko joined the Utah Jazz, who drafted him in 1999. He became the first Russian player selected in the first round of a draft and the youngest European player drafted. He made the NBA All-Rookie Team after his first season, was an NBA All-Defensive Team pick three times and played in the 2004 All-Star Game. In 2012, he led CSKA Moscow to the Euroleague Final, being named the competition's MVP, while earning an All-Euroleague First Team selection. He also won the Euroleague Defensive Player of the Year award the same year. On December 31, 2011, Kirilenko returned to his old Russian team, CSKA Moscow. On July 27, 2012, Kirilenko signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Culture Changer: Why Kevin Garnett will prove to be invaluable to the Brooklyn Nets
With much fanfare and hype, the Nets moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn last season. They seemed to have all the talent - but none of the heart. Enter Kevin Garnett, the Culture Changer. Known throughout his career for instilling leadership and passion wherever he goes, Garnett will bring a mental edge to the Nets this year. The Eastern Conference needs to be worried.