Former Jazz Star Andrei Kirilenko Suggests Euroleague Over NBA Due to Selfishness & Stardom Focus

‣ Andrei Kirilenko, a former NBA and EuroLeague player, recommends fans to watch the European competition over the U.S. sport as he believes it is more about team plays and tactics, with players knowing what to do on the court in each situation.
‣ Kirilenko, who has been serving as the president of the Russian Basketball Federation for almost nine years, insists that fans can even learn basketball from watching EuroLeague games.
‣ Guerschon Yabusele, a top power forward in Europe, has no plans to return to the NBA, stating he would rather play for the best team in Europe and win championships than sit on a bench. He is focused on joining the French National Team for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.


Andrei Kirilenko, a seasoned basketball player, has a wealth of experience. He’s shined in both the NBA and EuroLeague during his professional career. Recently, he shared a surprising viewpoint: he suggests fans should watch European basketball over the U.S. version.

“Great basketball is what you’ll see,” he told Russian media. “Especially if you appreciate proper basketball. The NBA, in my opinion, isn’t quite right. It’s more about individual players. But European basketball? It’s traditional, with more team plays, tactics, and players who know what they’re doing in every situation.”

Now 42, Kirilenko has been at the helm of the Russian Basketball Federation for nearly nine years. This role came after he hung up his player’s jersey.

Andrei Kirilenko prefers the EuroLeague rather than the NBA. “Especially if you love proper basketball,” he says.

“You absolutely should follow the EuroLeague if you’re a basketball fan. Watch players like Milos Teodosic,” he further urged. “I believe you can even learn basketball from watching EuroLeague games.”

Kirilenko’s NBA career spanned 13 seasons, ten of which he spent with the Utah Jazz. He also had shorter runs with the Brooklyn Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves. During this time, he played in 852 matches, 55 playoff games, and even made it to the 2004 All-Star Game.

In Europe, he mostly played for the Russian team CSKA. In 2012, he was honored with the EuroLeague season MVP. He also played internationally for his country, earning the tournament MVP of the 2007 EuroBasket, where Russia won gold. He also contributed to Russia’s bronze medal in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Guerschon Yabusele, on the other hand, isn’t looking back at Boston. He’s focused on the Olympics, not the NBA. Yabusele admits he’s finally enjoying his basketball game after establishing himself as a top power forward in Europe with ASVEL.

Yabusele, the 16th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, only played two seasons for the Celtics. After that, he spent some years in China. But since joining Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid, he’s set on his path. In an interview with L’Equipe, he revealed he’s not actively considering a return to the NBA.

“I no longer want to spend seasons with the Boston Celtics or in China, not knowing when to play and when not to,” Yabusele confessed. “I’d like to return to the NBA, but I play for the best team in Europe and win championships. Why would I leave that to sit on a bench? I’ll join the French National Team after this season ends, so I’m waiting for the Olympics, not the NBA.”

Yabusele shared that he’s focusing on the current campaign. His goal is to remain in the spotlight and be considered by the French federation for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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