After failing to report to the Philadelphia 76ers, Andrei Kirilenko will never be viewed in NBA circles as he once was.
The former Utah Jazz sensation that averaged 16.5 points and 8.1 rebounds during the 2003-04 season is no longer. Instead we now have the injury-riddled Kirilenko that is a shell of his former self.
The Philadelphia 76ers hoped when they traded for Kirilenko they were getting some form of his earlier years, someone who could lead the young players on the court. However, Kirilenko has failed to appear in one game for the 76ers, and Philadelphia management has seen enough. The team has suspended Kirilenko indefinitely without pay.
Those in Sixers management not only wanted Kirilenko to be a positive influence on the team, but play well enough to garner trade interest. With his unwillingness to put on a 76ers uniform, team’s are now less likely to trade for Kirilenko as many feel he will be released by the team.
It has been a long hard road between Kirilenko and the 76ers. It was believed the team agreed to release Kirilenko after the trade was finalized, but instead opted to keep him around. A source close to the situation spoke to The Philadelphia Inquirer on whether 76ers GM Sam Hinke misinterpreted the Kirilenko situation.
“No, I think he started thinking he can just hold onto him and use him at the trade deadline in a package to get something.”
It’s not clear what the true story really is, but one thing is near certain, Andrei Kirilenko will not be donning a Philadelphia uniform this season.