All-Decade Nominee: Andrei Kirilenko

Nov 18, 2019 by Euroleague.net Print

Electric, athletic and dominant at both ends of the court, Andrei Kirilenko played just two EuroLeague seasons this decade, but his impact was beyond question. Kirilenko had grown up with CSKA Moscow and returned to the Russian powerhouse in the 2011-12 season, right in the prime of his career. Indeed, Kirilenko walked away with the 2011-12 EuroLeague MVP award while being voted to the All-EuroLeague First Team and earning the nod of the competition's coaches for the Best Defender Trophy.

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Kirilenko was all over the place that season, averaging 14.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.9 blocks in 17 EuroLeague games. His PIR of 24.2 was the third-highest single-season average for any EuroLeague player this decade. Kirilenko led CSKA to the Final Four and reached the EuroLeague Championship Game, but Olympiacos Piraeus took the title from them on the season's last shot.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS

  • EuroLeague MVP 2011-12
  • All-EuroLeague First Team 2011-12
  • Best Defender 2011-12
  • EuroLeague October MVP 2011-12
  • Led the EuroLeague in rebounds 2011-12 (7.47 rpg.)
  • Led the EuroLeague in blocks 2011-12 (1.94 rpg.)

Kirilenko returned to CSKA to finish his career in the 2014-15 season, joining the team midway through the Top 16. Kirilenko again helped CSKA reach the Final Four, but again Olympiacos stood in the way, stopping the Russian powerhouse in the semifinals by 2 points. After that season, Kirilenko retired at age 34, universally acknowledged as one of the best European players of all-time.