Archives For Media Day

The title of this post is a lie. I haven’t stopped worrying, nor have I learned to love preseason rankings. But I guess I grudgingly understand why they’re there. Because following basketball closely — and I don’t mean your favorite team, but the whole thing — through its annual cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth is a lot like breaking up with a serious girlfriend every year. Like a five-year relationship compressed and injected into nine months.

It all begins with such promise in November and you don’t really know what’s going on or where it’s going but you just want to enjoy it. So you try to relax into it, thinking how all you’ve got is time. But then it starts getting serious. You stop taking it as it comes and start wondering where it’s going. And then, just like that, it’s over. This is June. Continue Reading…

Alexey Shved and Andrei Kirilenko

Photo by Steve McPherson

Andrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved sat down with Kirilenko very much in the driver’s seat. Shved mostly hung back, responding only when addressed directly and looking a little sheepish. Kirilenko seems convinced he’ll speak most loudly with his game.

  1. steventurous
    Kirilenko on Shved: “I don’t like to give advice. I think everyone is a grown man.”
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:35:18
  2. It was clear from the moment they came in and sat down that Kirilenko is very much playing the big brother role to Shved. Although he said he wasn’t going to help him out, Kirilenko helped Shved to translate his thoughts into English. Shved said he had no trouble understanding English, but has difficulty with speaking it. His quotes bear that out, although he’s certainly not a disaster.
  3. steventurous
    Shved and Kirilenko meeting the media. http://yfrog.com/mneswbbj
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:36:07
  4. steventurous
    “Adelman’s system is very good for me.” –Kirilenko
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:36:37
  5. In some ways, this would almost indicate to me that Kirilenko envisions spending a good amount of time at the four as well as the three, since Adelman’s system involves big men making cuts and hitting cutters. These are both things that Kirilenko can do, and he expressed admiration for watching Adelman’s system work over the years while he was playing in Utah.
  6. steventurous
    Kirilenko: “All English I learned in the locker room my first year.” Confident Shved will pick it up.
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:37:56
  7. Kirilenko was basically saying that he never had any formal one-on-one tutoring in English. It certainly seems like Shved is at the level where he will begin to pick it up quickly once he’s immersed in it. Certainly, Kirilenko will ease that transition.
  8. steventurous
    Kirilenko: “Love has made the jump from being just a very good player to being a franchise player.”
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:39:31
  9. It was good to hear the kind of belief players like Kirilenko have in Love and his abilities. It certainly seems like they’ve assembled a group of guys who respect Love but also expect him to lead the team vocally and by example. I guess we’ll find out how that goes with vets like Kirilenko and Roy as the season progresses. If things start well, I think it could go very well. If they don’t … well, we’ll see.
  10. steventurous
    Kirilenko: “You can’t guard the superstars in this league one on one. You have to help each other and build a team defensive philosophy.”
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:40:43
  11. I always like when players simply admit something we all know without being hung up on how it sounds. Clearly, if you’re talking about Durant and James, defending them is not up to any individual player. Everyone on the team has to make the rotations and know where to be. This echoes Adelman’s statement that although the team has defensive deficiencies, he’s hopeful that they’ll play good team defense.
  12. steventurous
    Kirilenko says he signed a picture of Shved holding up a Kirilenko jersey when Shved was 12, but doesn’t remember it.
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:42:32
  13. This was the funniest part of the presser. Kirilenko initially said it was a picture of Shved when he was seven or eight, but Shved interrupted him to say he was twelve. Kirilenko responded, “Well, you looked really young in that picture.”
  14. steventurous
    Kirilenko: “Russians are going to invade the United States.”
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:43:01
  15. Kirilenko tossed this out as he and Shved were getting up to leave. Sarah Palin, you’ve been put on blast.