June 23, 2015 / 6:29 PM / 2 years ago

Former NBA All-Star Andrei Kirilenko retires

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian basketball player and former NBA All-Star Andrei Kirilenko announced on Tuesday that he was retiring from the sport.

November 13, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko (47) controls the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

“I am finishing up my career on court,” said the 34-year-old CSKA Moscow forward in an interview with the Russian daily Sport-Express.

He did not rule out, however, returning to the sport in the future.

“I have not said that this is my final decision. However, at the moment -- yes, I have retired. I have had enough. I have had a successful career as a basketball player and the time has come to do something different,” he said.

Kirilenko started his career with Spartak St Petersburg, before moving to Russian giants CSKA Moscow. He then moved to the United States to join the Utah Jazz and was selected for the NBA All-Star game in 2004.

In recent years, Kirilenko has appeared for the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA, before returning to Russia in February to link up once again with CSKA until the end of the 2014/15 season.

Kirilenko helped the Russian national team win the 2007 European Championships and a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

The Russian said he could be tempted by a leading role in the country’s basketball federation.

“Is it really possible that I could take over as the head of the Russian Basketball Federation? I can’t say for certain,” he said.

“There is a difficult situation in Russian basketball at the moment as there is a lot of negativity surrounding it. I would like to try and change something.” 

Reporting by Dmitriy Rogovitskiy; editing by Toby Davis

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