Sixers Suspend Kirilenko
When the Sixers traded for Andrei Kirilenko earlier this season, it was expected that the veteran forward wouldn’t be in Philadelphia long — that, given the Sixers’
tanking ways penchant for departing with talented veterans, “AK-47” would end up on another team. And soon.
“The 76ers have suspended forward Andrei Kirilenko for not reporting to the team after his trade from the Brooklyn Nets last month,” the Associated Press reports. “Coach Brett Brown confirmed the suspension during a shootaround before Friday night’s game in Brooklyn. He says he had been looking forward to coaching Kirilenko.”
Players who stick with a team only a short time are said to have had “a cup of coffee” with that team. In Kirilenko’s case, though, he literally had a cup of coffee with Coach Brown before going AWOL.
AP says it’s not clear why Kirilenko didn’t report. Inky’s Bob Ford has an idea:
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 [General Manager Sam Hinkie] doesn’t seem to realize you have to deal with these people over and over,” one league source said.
So everybody expected Kirilenko not to play until they did. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2014-15 Sixers!