Ed. Crazy update to this story at the bottom of the post
Yahoo! Sports guru Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Philadelphia 76ers, who earlier this year traded with the Brooklyn Nets for Andrei Kirilenko, have suspended the forward.
Philadelphia has suspended Andrei Kirilenko for failing to report to the team, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. Suspension is without pay.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 9, 2015
The NBA was made aware of the Kirilenko suspension earlier this week, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 9, 2015
Yeah. From what I understand he was not planning on going to the team until his wife, Masha, had their child -- their fourth. I did not follow up with that storyline.
SB Nation's Philly guy Derek Bodner brings some new information to the table:
The timing of the leak that Kirilenko was expecting to be waived makes more sense now.— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) January 9, 2015
So things are crazy with Philly this year, for sure. I think that if they were going to waive Andrei they should do it sooner rather than later. At least we know Philly isn't interested in winning this year, so making a fuss about a player not showing up seems all for show. Like, Philly has 5 wins, and it's not like they are trying to be successful this year. Attempting to play hardball with their players for having a life outside of the Sixers is a huge double standard, because most of the Sixers front office seem to have a life outside of the Sixers too.
NSFW because of one word for poop that is four letters, but not poop.
I don't know. I think it's a crazy story within the larger Andrei Kirilenko TV drama. Which by itself was super crazy.
UPDATE: According to Bob Ford, of the Philly Inquirer, 76ers GM Sam Hinkie reneged on the agreement to immediately release Kirilenko from his contract after the trade.
As with many of the Sixers' transactions, that trade wasn't about improving, or even affecting, the current product on the court. It was about an exchange of assets, and this one involved players, draft picks, and money.
The difference with this transaction, however, is there are lingering hard feelings about how it played out and unsettling questions from some league sources about the way Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie handled the deal.
According to two sources with inside knowledge of the negotiations, the Sixers had agreed to release veteran forward Andrei Kirilenko after the trade was consummated, but did not follow through on that handshake deal. Kirilenko, who played only seven games with the Nets this season, remains on the Sixers roster but has refused to join the team despite a request to do so."He might have an IQ of 150, but [Hinkie] doesn't seem to realize you have to deal with these people over and over," one league source said.
Could Hinkie have misinterpreted or misunderstood the alleged agreement with the Nets, who wanted to satisfy the desire of Kirilenko - a favorite of Russian team owner Mikhail Prokhorov - to become a free agent?
"No," said another source. "I think he started thinking he can just hold onto him and use him at the trade deadline in a package to get something."
Nets general manager Billy King and Hinkie both declined to comment on the record for this story, but a Sixers team source disputed the allegation.
"We made the trade to get the draft pick and in hopes [Kirilenko] might play for us," the Sixers source said. "[Releasing him] was not a condition of the trade, but I have no idea what was said to him on the other end."
Woof. SI also reports that Masha has a complicated pregnancy and that they will be 'in the clear' sometime in February. As a result, he's not capable of leaving the NY area, where the Kirilenkos (Kirilenki?) are currently living. Hopefully the bad press will force Hinkie's hand soon. #TeamAndrei