MOSCOW (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019) - Andrei Kirilenko has thrown his full support behind FIBA's New Competition System and declared that national team games throughout the year are precisely what the sport needs.
No one has commanded more respect or received the adoration of fans in Russian basketball over the years quite like the FIBA EuroBasket 2007 champion and MVP, who also played in three Olympics and had a stellar 14-year NBA career.
Kirilenko set the standard for the sport in his homeland. Now, as the President of the Russian Basketball Federation, he wants to make the sport better in his country and around the world. He sees the national teams as being key to doing so.
While attending the recent FIBA Mid-Term Congress in Hong Kong - and before lending a helping hand in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers draw - Kirilenko spoke at length about how FIBA's New Competition System provides the tools to help achieve the goals of the national team.
What is your take on FIBA's New Competition System launching in November, when it will see national teams play games over six windows to qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019?
For us it's very important and very clear. We never have a chance to see our national team during the season. The only time we see the national team is one month a year, about August. And of course, for the fans, it's a disaster when you see your national team only once. With the New Competition System, every three months, you're going to see your national team, your players in front of the fans. Different cities have a chance to see the national team. It's a good idea. Read More Here.